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Thames Valley Berkshire

European Social Fund


The Thames Valley Berkshire area has a notional allocation of circa £12,500,000 European Social Funds (ESF), which will typically fund up to half of the costs of any project. Our priority for investing ESF is on increasing skills, improving pathways into and within work, and addressing social inclusion across the Berkshire area. These funds will be delivered in two main ways; Opt Ins and Open Calls.

Download the 'Supporting Local Growth 2018' ESF case study booklet, which references WOOP (Worlds of Opportunity) >>

Opt Ins

This is the mechanism to utilise match funding from other organisations in order to be able to draw down ESF. The Opt In organisations provide a level of match funding and are allocated a proportion of ESF. The Opt In organisation then allocates funding using its own processes and monitors the performance of the activity it is funding. Opt ins have been provided by:

  • the Skills Funding Agency (now operating as the Education and Skills Funding Agency)
  • Big Lottery – Building Better Opportunities

We are waiting for more information on future Opt Ins and further details will be made available when they are approved.

Open Call 

Supporting employers to promote career opportunities and experience of the world of work in Thames Valley Berkshire

This Call aims to run a project to provide support and co-ordination linking local employers with schools, colleges, and young people to provide inspirational experiences of the world of work and to ensure that young people can make informed education and careers choices.


Approximately £1,088,029 of ESF is available.


Full application deadline: 10 July 2019