EU funding round-up – September 2015

We’re trying a different format for EU news this month by publishing it on the NCVO blog. You can still receive email alerts and other updates. For the very latest news, remember to follow us on Twitter @EUfundingNCVO, join us on Linkedin and visit our website.

Launch of European Social Fund 2014-2020 Programme

The ESF Operational Programme (OP) for England has finally been adopted which means that the programme can start delivering on the ground. ESF supports jobs and helps those furthest from the labour market progress into work. Any organisation wishing to apply for funding from ESF should read the OP as it contains vital information on how the fund will be delivered, managed and evaluated. The OP for the European Regional Development Fund (the fund for infrastructure investment) was agreed in June. More information on how to apply for ESF.

Local Enterprise Partnerships

Charities should also check the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) Strategy for their LEP area to see what kind of projects will be funded. LEPs have been asked to submit their revised ESIF strategies to government by 6 November 2015, but you can see the latest draft strategies.

New calls for projects

There are a number of ESIF calls now live on the government’s Funding Finder. Most are European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) calls for projects on research and innovation, SMEs, a low carbon economy, environment and resource efficiency. New ESF calls are expected soon.
View all current funding calls.

Community-led funding opportunities

Community-led Local Development (CLLD) targets activity in specific geographic areas facing multiple deprivation and funding will soon be available in nine LEP areas, including Cornwall and Isles of Scilly South East, North East, Leeds City Region, York, North Yorkshire and East Riding, South East Midlands,  Greater Cambridge, Greater Peterborough, Greater Lincolnshire, and Humber. Successful applicants will progress to stage two and submit a full CLLD application from November. See all CLLD calls.

Skills Funding Agency update

Two SFA procurement rounds are expected in October on NEETs. Community grants of up to £15,000 will soon be available in a limited number of areas – keep an eye on our website for details.

Big Lottery Fund ESF update

Although the deadline for the first applications has closed, further funding opportunities for projects that tackle poverty and promote social inclusion in 18 LEP areas will open on 08 October 2015. Check out the BIG’s ESF page to see what’s available in your area.

European Social Fund 2007-2013 closure dates

If you received ESF during the 2007-2013, a reminder that 23 October 2015 is the final date for submitting claims to the Managing Authority.  See the action note from DWP.

ESIF and health and wellbeing

Our joint blog with the NHS, explores how ESIF can bring together NHS and VCSE sector to improve health and wellbeing. Consultation events on the role of the sector in improving health, wellbeing and care outcomes are taking place across England – see the VCSE review website.

D2N2 LEP seeking VCS representative

One East Midlands is seeking to recruit a new representative from the voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors for the LEP Board and local ESIF Committee to ensure that the views of the sector remain central to the LEP’s decision making. Apply before 12.00 noon on 5 October 2015.

Resources and tools

ESIF Guidance

New programme guidance has been published to assist projects funded through the European Structural and Investment Funds to compliantly procure services, supplies and works under ERDF and ESF.

Government updates on ESIF

Subscribe to the government’s dedicated Youtube channel to watch projects that have benefitted from European funding or subscribe to the government’s ESIF Programme e-bulletin, email

Find EU partners for your projects

A new, free NGO Partnership portal is available to help civil society organisations across Europe find potential EU partners for projects. You can upload your organisation’s information as well as search their EU-wide database.

Other funding opportunities


Studies, reports and surveys


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Sara was the European Social Fund (ESF) officer, responsible for supporting the delivery of 'Civil Society Active for ESF'.

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