European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF)

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 Structural and Investment Funds (ESIFs) are the European Union's main investment policy tool. With a budget of €454 billion for 2014-2020, it supports job creation and economic growth. The funds are distributed through these programmes:

Key facts

The ESIF are jointly managed by the European Commission and the EU Member States who negotiate to decide what can be funded by the ESIFs and priorities are set out within national or regional multi-annual programmes. Member States may choose to emphasise different activities in different regions of the EU and eligibility therefore depends on the scope of the programme in each region or country.

ESIFs are devolved to the member states where they are allocated via national or regional government departments or other agencies.  In the UK, agencies helping disseminate these funds include the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in England and WEFO in Wales. While applications to these funds do not require partners outside the UK, it should be noted that the criteria for these are tightly focused on jobs and growth. Whilst these funds can be challenging to access, there are some smaller grants available which may be more accessible.

The key areas of investment for ESIF are:

  • Jobs, growth and investment 
  • Digital single market 
  • Energy union and climate 
  • Internal market 
  • Economic and monetary union 
  • Justice and fundamental rights
  • Migration

UK contact point(s)

The European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIFs) is an umbrella framework so there may be different contact points for each of the funding programmes it contains. For more information and signposting to relevant contact points: