European Union European Social Fund

Key Documents

The ESF Operational Programme: is the main document for setting out the strategy and priorities for use of the fund to support the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. It also contains high level information on how the fund will be delivered, managed and evaluated. View ESF Operational Programme Document.

The Black Country ESIF Strategy: Outlines ESIF consultation, evidences need and key areas for intervention. View Black Country ESIF Straegy PDF.

The Black Country Strategic Economic Plan (SEP): Drafted concurrently with the Black Country ESIF Strategy, the SEP makes the case for a Black Country Growth Deal to accelerate growth  in high value manufacturing and, specifically, the aerospace, automotive and building technology sectors. View Black Country Strategic Economic Plan PDF.

Applying to the ESF

Guide to the ERDF and ESF FundsView PDF.

Lifecycle of a projectView PDF.

ESIF Funding FinderView webpage on GOV.UK.

The following programme guidance is available on the GOV.UK website:

  • Application forms

  • Eligibility Rules

  • Selection Criteria for the ERDF and ESF Programmes

  • Scoring Framework for the ESF

Delivering and Evaluating ESF

The following programme guidance is available on the GOV.UK website:

  • Eligibility Rules

  • Procurement Law

  • State Aid Law

  • Branding and Publicity Requirements

  • Output Indicator Definitions

  • Example funding agreements

ESF logo’s, press release and poster templates. View webpage on GOV.UK.

The ESF Operational Programme 2014-2020 states that robust governance and accountability require programme related analysis, monitoring and evaluation to form an integral part of programme delivery.  BCTA have commissioned an independent evaluation of the Black Country ESF Technical Assistance Project 2016-2019 and you can find the report here Final BCTA ESF Project Evaluation

*** Please check the GOV.UK website regularly to ensure you are accessing the most up to date guidance documentation.

Skills Funding Agency

Funding Rules: Sets out the rules for providers who receive funding from the SFA to offer education and skills training for 2015 to 2016. View webpage on GOV.UK.

Bravo: You must register on the SFA Bravo e-tendering portal to apply for ESF monies co-financed through the SFA.

Training Register: For the majority of calls applicants should be registered on the SFA training register. Visit GOV.UK for more information.

*** Please check the GOV.UK website regularly to ensure you are accessing the most up to date guidance documentation.

BIG: Building Better Opportunities

Building Better Opportunities resources are listed on the BIG website. These include:

  • Programme guide

  • Guide to delivering EU funding

  • Collecting / reporting participant funding

  • LEP information.

Investing in Your Future 

...Supported By


European Union European Regional Development Fund                   European Union European Social Fund     Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council              Walsall Council


Wolverhamptom City Council                                        Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council                      This website is part funded by:               European Union Investing In Your Future European Regional Development Fund 2007-13