The European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF)
The 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) Growth Programme provides funds to help local areas stimulate growth. The funds support investment in innovation, businesses, skills and employment to improve local growth and create jobs.
A single ESIF Growth Programme has been set up to combine three separate European Funds. The Growth Programme provides funding to help projects in England that create jobs and economic growth.
- European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
- European Social Fund (ESF)
- Devolved elements of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)
See further information on ESIF
The local priorities for the three funds are detailed in the Lancashire ESIF Strategy. Please note that the Strategy is currently still draft and is awaiting to be updated once Lancashire's programme outputs have been agreed and the Strategy approved by the National ESIF Growth Board.
These funds will be delivered in two main ways; Open Calls and Opt Ins.
This is the mechanism for the local ESIF Partnership to utilise match funding from other organisations in order to be able to draw down ESIF resources. The Opt In organisations provide a level of match funding and are allocated a proportion of ESIF resources. The Opt In organisation then allocates funding using its own processes and monitors the performance of the activity it is funding.
Currently there are three ESF Opt Ins in operation and further details can be obtained via the following websites;
In order to support project development in Lancashire the Lottery established a Programme Development Fund (PDF) and this funding was awarded to One Lancashire who can be contacted to discuss any detailed issues.
More Opt Ins are planned throughout the life of the ESIF programme and further details will be made available when they are approved.
This is the more traditional method for allocating ESIF funds whereby providers are asked to submit proposals to deliver specific types of activity using their own match funding. The details of Open Calls will be agreed by the local ESIF Partnership; with the details on the relevant Government department websites.
Calls Currently Open for Applications
NOTE TO APPLICANTS - New Application Forms: The Managing Authorities have released updated versions of the outline and full application forms that must be completed when applying for funding. The new forms can be accessed here:
There are a number of calls that are currently open for applications. Please click on the hyperlinks below to access the call details. The deadline for submitting project proposals under these priorities is 8 September 2017.
- P1: Promoting Research & Innovation
- P3: Enhancing the Competitiveness of SMEs
- P5: Promoting Climate Change, Adaptation, Risk Prevention & Management
The deadline for submitting project proposals under the following priority is 31 October 2017.
There is currently one call for projects open - ESF IP 2.2 Skills for Growth. The deadline for applications is 10 October 2017. Please click on the link below for further information.
- ESF 2.1: Developing Leadership & Management for Succession
There are currently two EARFD calls open - Food Processing and Rural Tourism. Please use the link below to access the call information, which can be found in the corresponding Handbook:
Previous Open Calls
The following calls were launched earlier this year and are now closed;
- Access to employment £1million ESF under Priority 1
- Research and Innovation £3million ERDF Priority 1
- SME Support £3million Priority 3
- European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development – Business Support Grants
- BIG Lottery - Building Better Opportunities – Disadvantaged Groups
- Low carbon
- SME Support
- Research and Innovation
- SFA - Activity to support individuals who are NEET in Lancashire LEP area
- DWP Opt in - Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership Area
- Big Lottery - Digital Inclusion
- Enhancing the Competitiveness of SMEs
- Preserving and Protecting the Environment and Promoting Resource Efficiency
- ESF Priority Axis 1, Investment Priority 1.4: Active Inclusion
- ESF Priority Axis 2, Investment Priority 2.1: Widening Participation
In addition the BIG Lottery held an application round for projects supporting Individuals 50+ with Low or No Skills and Young People who are NEET or at risk of becoming NEET; this round is closed.
For further details please visit the biglotteryfund.org.uk website.
ESIF Partnership committee
The committee is run by Department of Communities and Local Government DCLG.