FUNDING: ESF Community Grants – East of England

Status:  Open to applications
End Date:  31 December 2013
Application Deadline:  16 November 2012


Grants are available to not-for-profit third sector organisations for projects that prepare disadvantaged people for work in the East of England.


Maximum Value:  £12,000
Minimum Value:  £1,000

Value Notes

Grants of between £1,000 and £12,000 are available to organisations who can apply for a maximum of one grant during the life span of the current contract with TCHC.

In addition there will be limited scope of up to 10% of the fund available to support capacity building activities within the applying organisations for things such as:

  • Training their own staff and volunteers.
  • Actions to support the development of delivery and accreditation arrangements in-house.
  • Support to achieve quality marks.

Extended Description

The ESF Community Grants programme is funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Skills Funding Agency. The programme is being administered by The Consultancy Home Counties (TCHC) in the East of England.

The programme aims to support voluntary and third sector organisations to engage with local communities to deliver a range of skills and employment support activities to enable people from the hardest to reach communities, experiencing multiple disadvantages, to make progress towards the labour market.

The Community Grants funding is available to third sector organisations that would otherwise not be able to access ESF.

Latest Information

The next deadline is 16 November 2012. There will be one more application round after this round.

Key Criteria

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Be a voluntary or third sector organisation.
  • Be locally established, be based and provide services in the East of England (Bedfordshire, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Hertfordshire, Suffolk).
  • Have an income of less than £300,000 in the last financial year.
  • Have less than 50 full time equivalent employees.
  • Have a written constitution, or set of rules, which has been formally adopted.
  • Have a bank account in the organisation’s name with at least two unrelated signatories.
  • Have a safeguarding policy and have appropriately trained and CRB checked their staff and volunteers.

Applicants must provide one or more of the following services or training:

  • Initial help with basic skills.
  • Taster work experience including voluntary work.
  • Training advice and guidance.
  • Job search assistance.
  • Confidence building and personal development.
  • First contact engagement activities.

Priority will be given to the following:

  • People with disabilities and health conditions.
  • Lone parents.
  • People aged 50 or over.
  • People from ethnic minorities.

Eligible Expenditure

Funding is intended to support revenue costs associated with eligible projects. A small amount of capital expenditure (up to £1,000) may be permitted.

Match Funding Restrictions

Match funding is not required.


The following are not eligible for funding:

  • Individuals.
  • Groups that consist of one family.
  • Statutory bodies.
  • Profit-making organisations.
  • Grant-making bodies applying for funding to redistribute to individuals or groups.
  • Political groups.
  • Projects that promote political beliefs.
  • Projects that promote religious beliefs.
  • Projects benefiting people in employment.
  • Projects benefiting people aged under 18.
  • Projects that include the costs of building, repairs or structural work.
  • Projects already in receipt of money from ESF.
  • Projects normally the responsibility of the Government or another public service provider/agency.
  • Projects which duplicate provision already supported through existing LSC or Department for Work and Pensions mainstream activity, or ESF co-financing.
  • Core costs.
  • Individual items of equipment costing more than £1,000 even if the applicant contributes to the rest of the cost.
  • Purchase of second-hand equipment.
  • Building, repairs or structural work – above a £750 limit for minor adaptations.
  • Buying property or land.
  • Purchase of vehicles.
  • Single trips or outings purely for a social benefit.
  • Tickets, gifts or prizes purely for a social benefit.
  • Loans.
  • Reclaimable VAT.
  • Travel outside the UK.
  • Bank charges, legal fees, fines or costs arising from legal action.

Application Procedure

An application form and guidelines can be found on the TCHC website.

Applicants are requested to post any questions on the TCHC Discussion Forum so that all applicants have access to the same information. The TCHC will not be able to answer individual questions by email or telephone.

Addresses and contacts

For further information on how to obtain this funding opportunity locally, please contact the following:

Contact details:
The Consultancy Home Counties (TCHC)
2nd Floor, Suite A3
Gresham House
53 Clarendon Road
WD17 1LA
01923 698430

For more information, please visit Funding Central.