One week before an official delegation from the European Parliament comes to visit Hampshire, local Euro MP Catherine Bearder is asking companies and organisations how MEPs can help them get more money from Europe.
On Wednesday 15th June, seven MEPs from the Parliament's Committee on Regional Development will be visiting a number of projects in Hampshire that have received funding grants from the European Commission. Among others, the delegation will be meeting with the Radian Project in Petersfield, Plato GB in Alton and Marine South East in Southampton.
Mrs Bearder, who successfully got the delegation to agree to visit Hampshire above other regions of Europe, commented:
"I am bringing this delegation from the European Parliament to see just how European money is being invested in my constituency, and in some cases how it isn't."
"I want MEPs to meet with our local companies and organisations to see the excellent work being done here in Hampshire."
"But I also want MEPs to learn how we can get more money to support local communities. There is a huge pot of money in Brussels waiting to be invested and often organisations in the UK just don't apply for it. Why is that?"
"We need to learn how the funding process can be improved so we can get money from Brussels invested in local communities as quickly, and with as little bureaucracy, as possible."
"When public spending in the UK is being cut left, right and centre, our communities can turn to Brussels to get the money they need."
"Now more than ever our local communities need to be a part of Europe and see how we can benefit from our membership of the EU."
10am Visit to Radian
Radian is a housing and support provider based in Hampshire. It plans to develop a model for low carbon retrofit of social housing that will help to transform businesses and reduce carbon emissions from existing housing stock. It manages more than 17,000 homes in the South of England and supports more than 300 people in the care sector.
Radian has received a funding grant of £421,000 from the European Regional Development Fund.
MEPs will see a Radian show house to illustrate how ERDF money is used locally to deliver its goals.
16 Borough Grove, Petersfield, Hampshire, GU32 3NF
11:15am Coach transfer to Plato GB
The Alton Grange Hotel, London Road, Alton, Hampshire, GU34 4EG
12pm Visit to Plato GB
Plato GB is an organisation that encourages businesses to improve their sustainability.
The Plato: Sustain project has received a grant of £275,000 from the European Regional Development Fund. The project aims to stimulate behavioral change amongst 130 SME CEOs /senior managers, encouraging them to implement sustainable business and efficient resource practices through the use of sustainable design and innovation. This will lead to improved business performance plus a reduction in the region's ecological footprint.
2pm Coach transfer to Marine South East
Meeting Room 2, Kenneth Dibben House, Southampton Science Park, Southampton, SO16 7NS
3pm Visit to Marine South East
Marine South East is a business-led consortium developed to address the critical issues affecting marine businesses and support the economic development of the marine sector in the South East.
Marine South East have received £242,796 from the European Regional Development Project for a number of projects. The Delegation will hear about the 3D CAD/CAM project, which successfully encouraged marine companies to use advanced technology and automated production techniques. It will also hear about the ongoing SMARTA project, which provides support for companies that want to improve their profitability and sustainability by increasing their resource efficiency.
5pm Coach transfer to Lord Mayoress Parlour
Portsmouth Guildhall, Portsmouth, PO1 2AB
5.45pm Discussion at the Lord Mayoress Parlour
The delegation will hear from local organisations and small businesses about their experiences of applying for funding from Europe. The meeting will be attended by University of Southampton, Oxford Innovation, Solent Employment & Skills Board, Wheatsheaf Trust and representatives from local government.
The discussion will be followed by a dinner hosted by Push (the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire).
9.30pm Coach transfer to Hotel
Members of the delegation:
Mrs Constanze Angela Krehl MEP (Germany) - Chair of the Delegation
Mr Sean Kelly MEP (Ireland)
Mr Joachim Zeller MEP (Germany)
Mrs Karin Kadenback MEP (Germany)
Mr Oldrich Vlasák MEP (Czech Republic)
Ms Vilja Savisaar-Toomast MEP (Estonia)
Mrs Catherine Bearder MEP (UK)