Structural Funds are a major source of funding for Wales, the 2007-2013 programmes is worth £3.5 billion to the Welsh economy.

Parts of Wales qualified for three programmes Convergence programme, for West Wales and the Valleys; Regional Competitiveness and Employment, area in East Wales,  and the Ireland-Wales Cross-border Co-operation programme, in the West coast of Wales and the East coast of Ireland.

The third sector is a key stakeholder in the design, monitoring and delivery of the Structural Funds programmes in Wales and has been pro-actively engaged with European policies and programmes for over 10 years. In the 2007-2013 programmes over £96m of EU funds have been committed to projects led by the third sector, this funding has enabled over 300 third sector organisations to have access to European Structural funding.  These projects have supported over 76,600 people changing lives by providing qualifications, jobs and soft skills. 

The main advantages of European funding:

  • It can provide approximately 50-75 per cent of a total project cost for up to three years
  • Existing funding, staff and volunteer time can be used as match funding to drawn down EU grant
  • It delivers on Government priorities and can help to demonstrate how your work fits with these
  • It is possible to trial innovative approaches

The main disadvantages of European funding:

  • Processes are bureaucratic
  • There is often a long lead in time for projects to be implemented
  • Project ideas must fit with Government priorities