Click on any question in the list to see the answer:
All the answers have been kept brief and as simple as possible with links to more detailed information where appropriate.
If you want the real, in-depth details about Objective One, the place to look is in the 'Single Programming Document' which was the official contract with the EU on how the funds were to be used.
Q1. What was Objective One?
Of the three, Objective One was the highest priority designation for European aid and was targeted at areas where prosperity, measured in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per head of population, was 75% or less of the European average.
Q2. How much money was there?
The European money also had to be matched, across the programme as a whole, with the same amount of UK money. This match funding came through investment from various public bodies. Other funds were also provided from the private sector. (Levels of investment and the amount of match funding varied however, for individual projects).
Q3. Where did the money come from?
The four funds, and the proportion they provided of the Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly programme’s funds, are the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) – 60.4%; European Social Fund (ESF) – 20.3%; European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) – 15.9%; Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG) – 3.4%.
Q4. Why did Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly get this money?
The region thereby became eligible and a partnership of local bodies submitted a document to the European Commission setting out proposals for how funding could be used to raise prosperity above this threshold.
This document is known as the Single Programming Document and – after it was agreed by the EC – effectively formed the business plan and contract between the UK and the EC, containing the rules for how this European money was to be spent.
The partnership of bodies that produced the SPD administered and monitored how the money was allocated. The partnership included the councils for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, the Government Office for the South West, Defra, the South West of England Regional Development Agency, Learning and Skills Council, Jobcentre Plus and representatives of the private and voluntary sector.
Q5. Which projects were eligible?
And in order to make that vision possible, the programme had set five priorities and all projects had to fit within the detailed criteria of at least one priority. In general terms, these priorities were for business support, strategic investment, developing people, community development and regional distinctiveness.
There were also three “cross cutting” themes that were of such importance that all projects were required to address the issues involved. These were environmental sustainability, equal opportunities and information communications technology.
Funding was only for projects that took place in – or benefited – Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
In addition, funding was not to be used to:
This is not an exhaustive list. Potential applicants were encouraged to contact the Government Office for the South West on 01752 635000 at an early point to establish the eligibility of a project idea.
GOSW provided the secretariat for applications to the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF) and the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) with Defra covering applications to the fisheries element of the Programme, Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG).
Q8. How long did it take for applications to be processed?
Q9. Why was the appraisal process so complex?
Under both UK and European law this meant that the appraisal process had to be fair, transparent and thorough.
It also meant that the process had to be able to provide a complete, and accountable, audit trail on an annual basis to the UK and European governing bodies.
The appraisal process was as simple as it could be, given the number of criteria it had to obey considering that Objective One funds were public money.
However, the first point of contact was the Objective One Helpline on 0800 028 0120. The Helpline directed potential applicants to guidance from an adviser with the relevant expertise.