European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

Are partners required?


Is mobility required/involved?


Key areas of focus

Economic Growth
Entrepreneurship and SMEs
Environment and climate change
Research and innovation


The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is one of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). It aims to strengthen economic and social cohesion in the European Union by reducing regional disparities in terms of income, wealth and opportunities.

Key facts

The ERDF focuses its investments on several key priority areas:

  • Innovation and research
  • The digital agenda
  • Support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
  • Low-carbon economy

Partners from other countries are not required, apart from when the ERDF also supports cross-border transnational and interregional cooperation under the European Territorial Cooperation (Interreg) goal. Take a look at the Interreg funding opportunity for more details. 

In the past, ERDF has allowed beneficiary regions to:

  • Invest in the protection, promotion and preservation of their cultural heritage and in the development of their cultural infrastructure, providing these investments have a significant impact on the socio-economic development of the region.
  • Support measures to promote the region’s cultural assets, with a view to developing sustainable tourism.

Relevant region(s)

All of Europe’s regions are classified in one of three categories according to their GDP compared to the overall GDP of the EU. In the UK, these areas are classified as follows:

  • Less developed regions: Cornwall, West Wales and Valleys
  • Transition regions: Highlands and Islands, Tees Valley and Durham, Lincolnshire, East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, South Yorkshire, Cumbria, Lancashire, Merseyside, Shropshire and Staffordshire, Devon, Northern Ireland
  • More developed regions: Everywhere else

UK contact point(s)

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) leads on policy for the European Structural and Investment Funds (including ERDF and ESF) and on the UK Partnership Agreement.