ERDF Convergence Programme – Calls For Expressions of Interest


The ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) Convergence Programme is inviting expressions of interest for business support worth more than £25 million to support ambitious businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Amongst other things businesses will be able to receive an injection of top class expertise, start up support and incentives to work together to grow their own businesses and create better paid jobs.

The expressions of interest have been posted on the South West RDA website for large business support contracts which are expected to receive joint investment from the South West RDA and the ERDF Convergence Programme.

The expressions of interest cover Business Collaboration Networks; Business Expertise: High Growth Coaching; Business Start Up: High Growth; and Intensive Start Up Support – full details including the closing dates for submission are available on the website.

Phil McVey South West RDA Director of European Programmes explains: “The Programme Partners’ intention is to invest in excess of £25million into this package of business support and the Programme is really looking for exciting, ground breaking delivery proposals to help raise the economy of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly”

The deliverer of each product will be selected by a team of experts driven by business managers / owners who will ensure that the project is designed to meet the needs of their peers and that the delivery organisation(s) are selected on their ability to offer a creative support solution that meets the needs of the local business base.

The ERDF Convergence Programme represents a real opportunity to build on the achievements of previous European economic regeneration programmes to further strengthen the economy of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.


For more information contact Josie Linton, Enterprise and Innovation Convergence Manager, South West Regional Development Agency. Email:
Tel: 01872 243779. Mob: 07712678915.

Editors Notes:

Strengthening the economy of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

Launch of Open Call for Expressions of Interest

  1. Business Expertise: High Growth Coaching: Deadline for submission of questionnaire 12:00pm 3 November 2008. An opportunity to deliver a world class business coaching project specifically targeted at high growth businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The project will help businesses to invest in mentoring expertise and specialist skills which they would otherwise not have access to. The level of engagement may vary in length and intensity but the aim is to provide businesses with the expertise required to make a step change in their productivity and ultimately the creation of better paid jobs.
  2. Business Collaboration Networks: Deadline for submission of questionnaire 12:00pm 10 November 2008. An opportunity for an intermediary body to establish and operate a single point of access for business collaborative networking. The project will encourage collaboration between high-growth potential businesses operating in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and will provide participants with the opportunity to work collaboratively to develop and pursue opportunities that they are unable or unwilling to exploit alone, in order to stimulate and accelerate growth. These opportunities are likely to have positive impacts on the longevity, productivity and turnover of the participating businesses.
  3. Business Start Up: High Growth: Deadline for submission of questionnaire 12:00pm 17 November 2008. This is an exciting opportunity to deliver a transformational project to support the generation of new business ideas and see them through to business start ups in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The focus is on dynamic, innovative and high growth business start ups with good management teams and ultimately will lead to increased better paid employment opportunities. The programme is looking for creative delivery solutions to help foster and support a new entrepreneurial culture within the county.
  4. Intensive Start Up Support: Deadline for submission of questionnaire 12:00pm 8 December 2008. This opportunity is a project designed to really make a difference in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.  It specifically seeks to provide additional support to those individuals and groups who are disadvantaged and / or underrepresented in self employment and business ownership.  The support is intended to overcome specific barriers and address current inequities.  The programme is looking for an organisation with real passion in this area which has a proven track record of assisting individuals to create businesses that would otherwise not have started.

If you are interested in delivering these contracts, contact Josie Linton Enterprise and Innovation Manager of South West RDA for an expression of interest questionnaire. The deadline for submission of questionnaires is given above. If you are then shortlisted you will be sent a project descriptor against which we invite your full delivery proposal.

Any questions please contact Josie Linton either on the email above or on 01872 243779

Convergence helpline telephone: 0800 0280120.

In Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly the Convergence programmes are made up of European Regional Development Fund (£347 million) and European Social Fund (£153 million) Convergence Programmes will run until 2013 and follow the successful Objective One Programme and prior to that Objective 5b.

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