Expressions of Interest invited for D2N2 ESF funding

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Following his update at our annual conference, Richard Kirkland from the D2N2 LEP has asked us to share this call out for Expressions of Interest with you.

The D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership has worked with strategic partners, stakeholders and learning providers to commission the ‘first half’ of the its European Social Fund programme

The majority of these programmes have been commissioned by working with the following ‘opt in organisations’ who have provided ‘match funding at source’

  • DWP – INSPIRE Local
  • ESFA – CAREERS Local, EMPLOY Local and SKILLS Local
  • Big Lottery – Building Better Opportunities Programme

However they now face a number of challenges if they are to unlock the full value of ESF across D2N2 and implement the second half of the programme. The main challenge is uncertainty about where future match funding will come from as assurances are still to be given around any future nationally provided match at source. It is estimated that approximately £50 million of match funding is necessary to unlock the full value of ESF in D2N2

The following estimated uncommitted funds are available across the following ESF Investment Priorities

  • 1.1 Access to Employment for jobseekers and inactive people - £11.3 million
  • 1.2 Sustainable integration of young people - £4.7 million
  • 1.4 Active Inclusion - £9.4m
  • 2.1 Enhancing equal access to lifelong learning - £19.5 million
  • 2.2 Improving the labour market relevance of education and training systems - £4 million

Another significant challenge is time pressure to commission the remaining ESF as the UK Government commitment is to only honour contracts that are signed before the UK leaves the European Union which under the terms of ‘Article 50’ of the Lisbon Treaty will be the end of quarter one 2019

Therefore D2N2 are working with strategic partners to hopefully launch a series of ESF calls before the end of this year and in early 2018 along with Technical Assistance events to raise awareness of future ESF opportunities and more information will be widely circulated 

ESF provides 50% funding for projects and so represents an opportunity to lever in additional funds which might enable projects and activity to go-ahead that would not otherwise happen due to lack of funding or organisational capacity .  

The D2N2 LEP is keen to identify potential delivery partners who they may be able to provide eligible match and collaborate to develop high quality applications for future ESF provision. To support this process the D2N2 LEP need to gather some information about the capacity of the sector to deliver provision which delivers the D2N2 ESIF strategy. Importantly, they also need to identify any sources of match funding that we can factor in to draw down ESF funding.

If you are interested in working with D2N2 LEP, please complete and return the attached Expression of Interest proforma which will give them enough basic information to begin a dialogue. There is also a document with more information on eligible match funding with this email

If you wish to discuss this in any more detail, please feel to contact Richard Kirkland at D2N2, but due to the time pressure your Expression of Interest form needs to be with Richard by Tuesday 17 October 2017.

D2N2 Expression of Interest form         D2N2 Matched funding guide

Richard’s contact details are:

Richard Kirkland

European Structural and Investment Fund Coordinator

D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership


Mobile: 07867178967