The purpose of this survey is to seek the views of equality and diversity organisations across the Heart of the SW LEP area (Torbay, Plymouth, Devon and Somerset) on our draft European Strategic Investment Framework.

Why participate?
This investment framework will determine how approximately £100m of European investment will be spent between 2014 and 2020. We would like to ensure that the strategy and subsequent programme delivery processes actively promote equality of opportunity. We would therefore like your thoughts on how we might do this. This consultation is therefore your opportunity to positively influence European Structural Funding in the Heart of the SW area between now and 2020.

What is the draft EUSIF?
Local Enterprise Partnerships have been asked by Government to prepare ‘Strategic Investment Frameworks’ for the distribution of European Structural Funds for the period 2014-2020. This brings together, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF) and part of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). Nationwide, the top priorities of this Programme are innovation, support for SMEs, low carbon, skills, employment and social inclusion. More information can be found here (please copy and paste into your browser).

Our first draft was submitted on time Government on the 7th of October. This can be viewed in full (please copy and paste into your browser):

Or as a powerpoint summary (please copy and paste into your browser):

We are now in the process of refining our draft document for final submission to Government at the end of January.

This process of refinement is on-going and builds on a) feedback from Government b) feedback from local stakeholders submitted as part of our wider consultation processes; c) Wider strategy development work and evidence development.

Why are we seeking your views now?

A key aspect of this refinement stage is consideration of the impact of the programme of different groups/communities. This work is on-going and is not reflected in the 7th of October draft. As part of this process we will be:

• Refining the evidence base in relation to the nine protected characteristics;
• Refining our commitment to promoting equality and combating discrimination;
• Refining our strategy to ensure it promotes equality, good relations and eliminates discrimination.

To do this well, we need and will value your input. We would be very grateful if you could look at the draft document/powerpoint summary and answer the following questions.

The consultation will close on the 24th of January. We will then review your comments and incorporate changes into the final EUSIF document to be submitted on the 31st of January.

The final version of the EUSIF will be available on the Heart of the SW website after it has been approved by Government.