Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Walsall Council to deliver £1million Black Country ESF Community Grants Fund

Studying Photo

Small Black Country third sector organisations and not for profit groups that help improve the skills and job prospects of local residents now have the chance to benefit from assistance being offered by the European Social Fund (ESF) and Skills Funding Agency (SFA).

The Black Country’s community and voluntary groups may be eligible for the Community Grants programme if they have an annual income below £150,000 and can demonstrate an innovative approach to helping people who are out of work or disadvantaged learn new skills and move closer to the workforce.

The programme – worth £990,000 – is jointly funded by the SFA and ESF and offers grants of up to £10,000 for each organisation.
Applications can be made to Walsall Council who successfully tendered to act as the local Grant Co-ordinating Body on behalf of the SFA.

Councillor Lee Jeavons, Walsall’s portfolio holder for regeneration, said:

“I’m delighted that Walsall Council has been selected by the Skills Funding Agency to administer the ESF Community Grants Programme on behalf of the Black Country. The programme will provide the type of support that the Council and the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership has identified as crucial to getting local residents furthest removed from the labour market into work. In partnership with the Skills Funding Agency and European Social Fund, we are helping grass-roots organisations reach out and make a real impact on local people’s lives.”

Applications can be submitted now as part of an open call programme. Around 100 Black Country projects will be funded between now and March 2018.

Application materials, eligibility criteria and guidance are available by contacting Walsall Council External Funding Team or can be downloaded at

Walsall Council will hold a briefing event on 29th November at St Paul’s Crossing, Walsall so interested groups can learn more about Community Grants and the application process. Successful applicants will also be able to access bespoke training and capacity building support to enable them to deliver the part EU funded project.Find out more about the event and how to book here.

The deadline for the first round of applications is 17:00pm on 5th January 2017. The Grants Assessment Panel will then meet on 19th January 2017 and the Programme Advisory Board on 25th January to assess and approve applications.

Follow programme updates on twitter @BCTA_ESIF #ESFCommunityGrants

Notes to Editors:

• European Social Fund – The project is receiving up to £990,000 of funding from the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The Department for Work and Pensions (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations. For more information visit .

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