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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.

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 Calls

Thames Valley Berkshire LEP is hosting a webinar on Wednesday 22 August, 2pm-3pm, to provide information and detail on the upcoming ESF Calls. The Calls have a combined value of over £2.6million. The webinar will offer potential bidders an overview of the Calls in a 'what you need to know' approach to assist organisations on how best to respond to them. Please click here to register. 

The four Calls are:

Priority Axis 1.1 – Skills Support for the Unemployed (page 82)

Priority Axis 1.2 – NEET (page 117)

Priority Axis 1.4 – Community Grants (page 133)

Priority Axis 2.1 – Skills Support for the Workforce/Response to Redundancy (page 121)