ESIF funding is made available through a “Calls” process – a form of competitive bidding. Each call is only open for a short time, and current calls are listed further down the page.
All ESIF funding is offered through a series of calls determined by each LEP. These will be time-limited calls for specific part of the LEP’s ESIF programme, and for LCR LEP at least there will be no opportunities to bid for funding on an open-ended basis. ESIF calls are not issued by LCR LEP itself, but put out on its behalf by the relevant Managing Authorities (government departments) or Opt-In (match funding) providers, using their own websites as described below. Organisations wishing to look at funding opportunities will need to visit the relevant website(s) separately.
There are two types of calls used for ESIF, and the process will operate differently for each type, and also to some extent for the different ESIF funds (ERDF, ESF and EAFRD). The two types are:
Open calls (those that will require applicants to provide their own match funding) will be issued through the gov.uk government website at www.gov.uk/european-structural-investment-funds. These calls will be subject to a 2-stage process; the first stage will require the submission of an outline application and the second a full application, both made using on-line forms. It is likely that for some calls only one applicant will be invited to proceed to the second stage, so the outline application will be crucial for success. Open calls will be used for both ERDF and ESF, as well as EAFRD, and details of the process may differ between the funds.
Opt-in calls (where match funding is provided by the Opt-In provider) will operate according to the individual processes of each provider, through their own procurement/bidding website. These are all ESF calls. It is anticipated that DWP and SFA will operate single-stage processes while the Big Lottery Fund (BIG) are operating a 2-stage process. BIG calls under their Building Better Opportunities programme are posted at https://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/esf, although the calls for LCR will not be issued till the autumn (probably October). Details for the DWP and SFA call sites will be added in due course.
Calls will for the most part be for programmes of work rather than separate projects and will be for relatively large amounts; most LCR calls will also cover at least two local authority districts, and some will be for the whole LEP area. It seems likely therefore that only a small minority of third sector organisations will be able to consider responding directly to calls, and most organisations will access ESIF through sub-contracting or consortium arrangements.
The next round of ESF calls is now expected in October; at that point a large number of calls will be issued, including many of the T8 and T10 opt-in calls; the T9 Building Better Opportunities (BIG Opt-In) calls are also expected then.
The latest calls schedule issued by the LEP, showing expected call dates, can be downloaded below; please note that many of the dates in this schedule have now changed, but the structure and broad sequence of calls is still valid.
All current and closed open calls for the LCR ESIF area can be found on the Gov.uk website here.
There are no ESF or ERDF calls currently open for Leeds City Region.
This page updated 26/01/16
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