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August 12, 2015

EU masterclasses

You’d think that a grants programme which runs from 2014 -2020 would have started funding projects sometime last year. You’d also think that if the programme was specifically intended to have a strong emphasis on projects that are community led, particular attention would be paid to ensuring communities know how to apply. But these funds are from the European Programme, and nothing ever seems straightforward when it comes to EU funds. SCA is working with others (SenscotSFS and DTAS) to shed some light on the programme, in particular through a series of masterclasses.


The next two EU Funds Masterclasses presented by Leslie Huckfield are being held  on behalf of Senscot, Social Firms Scotland, Development Trusts Association Scotland and Scottish Community Alliance:

•             1030 till 1300 on Wednesday 12 August 2015 at the Spectrum Centre, 1 Margaret St, Inverness. Use this link here to make your booking for the Inverness EU Funds Masterclass

•             1030 till 1300 on Friday 21 August 2015 at the Melting Pot, 5 Rose Street, Edinburgh. Use this link here to make your booking for the Edinburgh EU Funds Masterclass

This week’s EU Funds Update features the ESF Programme’s 5 Social Inclusion Strategic Objectives, which for many readers will form the most accessible and relevant part of current EU Funding.  There is also a detailed summary of the four ERDF Strategic Packages which are most relevant to third sector organisations.


Scotland’s EU Structural Fund Programmes for 2014-2020 (ERDF and ESF) will be delivered through 14 different Strategic Intervention Lead Partners, each of which is issuing a detailed description of the focus on which their delivery of funds will be targeted, managed and co-financed.

As emphasised in previous EU Funds Updates, unless future applications fit within the descriptions of these Strategic Interventions, they are unlikely to be successful. Previous EU Funds Updates have provided latest information about these Strategic Interventions.

This EU Funds Update focuses especially on latest developments in the 5 Social Inclusion Strategic Objectives – probably the most important part of all these Programmes for Bulletin readers.

For further details about Strategic Leads and local delivery information the Scottish Government has published this list of contacts for Strategic Lead Partner Organisations, including Local Councils.

Please note that many of these may not yet be in a position to provide potential applicants with further information at this stage.


This week, this Section includes important new information. Most titles highlighted in blue are links. Please click on these links for further information.

This “Thematic Objective” – with €89mn ESF – includes five Strategic Objectives set out below

Strategic Objective 21 – Financial Inclusion Programme, delivered through Big Lottery. Please click on the link for further details, including the bidding timetable in the five selected areas of Argyll and Bute, Dundee, Glasgow, Inverclyde and North Ayrshire.

Strategic Objective 22 – Enhanced Employability Pipelines. This is being delivered through Local Authorities. Please click on the link for further details, which includes some latest details and contacts for some local authority developments. This is the presentation which Leslie Huckfield made at the initial meeting of theEmployability Social Enterprise Network in Glasgow on Wednesday 05 August 2015.

Strategic Objective 23 – Disadvantaged Communities to develop long term solutions to increase active inclusion and reduce poverty. Scottish Government and Highlands and Islands Enterprise are currently working out how this community based Strategic Objective will be delivered and information will be made available as soon as possible. Once the application process starts, they will be looking for evidence that community based organisations and anchors have credible plans and the capacity to deliver. £12mn is available for Central Scotland and £8mn for Highlands and Islands. This is 100% funding so applicants won’t have to find match funding.

Strategic Objective 24 – Increase the Sustainability and Capacity of the Social Economy to deliver support to the most disadvantaged areas and groups.  Scottish Government and Highlands and Islands Enterprise are currently consulting on delivery, for which Senscot and Social Firms Scotland attended an important consultation in Glasgow on Wednesday 15 July 2015. Please see link below for further information. As they emerge, further details will be available in future EU Funds Updates.

Strategic Objective 25 – Support and Encourage Social Innovation and Solutions. Scottish Government and Highlands and Islands Enterprise are currently consulting on delivery, for which Senscot and Social Firms Scotland attended an important consultation in Glasgow. Please see link below for further information. For Social Innovation – a new concept for ESF – there will be funding for three Stages. Stage One will be for smaller applications to test and try out new approaches’. Stage Two will be for growing these. Stage Three will look for sustainability after this funding and an exit  strategy. 

There is new important information on these two Strategic Objectives 24 and 25 from Scottish Government and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. The Strategic Intervention proposal (draft and not yet approved by the managing Authority) is being jointly developed by the Scottish Government Third Sector Unit and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and covers the whole of Scotland.

As usual, this information comes with the usual health warning that things may change in future.

Youth Employment Initiative. This is a separate ESF initiative with €46.30mn matched by an amount from mainstream ESF, for NEETS aged 16 to 29. YEI is administered through Scottish Funding Council and 12 local authorities to focus on employer recruitment. Please follow the link for further details.

National Third Sector Employability Programme. To be delivered through Skills Development Scotland, this €14mn ESF Programmes is for 3 years and will invite 3 year proposals.  Details are still awaited. Applications will need details of match funding.


The following are ERDF Strategic Intervention Leads of interest to Bulletin readers. A similar posting about these Strategic Intervention Leads has appeared in previous EU Funds Updates.

Green Infrastructure – a total package of approximately £37.5mn be delivered by Scottish Natural Heritage. Please follow the title link for Interim SNH Guidance.

Low Carbon Travel and Transport  – ERDF to be delivered by Transport Scotland. Please follow the title link for Interim Note from Transport Scotland, which has £25mn ERDF for delivery of £62.5mn total project costs.

Resource Efficient Circular Economy Accelerator Programme – ERDF to be delivered by Zero Waste Scotland. Please follow the link for Interim Note from Zero Waste Scotland. 

Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme  – ERDF being delivered by Scottish Government and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. Eligibility includes “Community groups, Registered Charities, Third Sector, Community Benefit Societies and Community Interest Companies”. This is the Initial Contact Form to be used for access to this Strategic Intervention. This presentation offers a good overview of the Low Carbon Strategic Intervention.

As more details of these become available, further information and guidance from other Strategic Leads will be posted in EU Funds Updates.


The SRDP will be delivered through a number of schemes, not all of which are directly farming related. This link provides details of Schemes of more interest to members.  A similar posting about these Schemes has appeared in previous EU Funds Updates.


To help potential applicants, Leslie Huckfield has designed a Draft Expression of Interest form, which includes issues potential applicants need to consider before the official bidding processes start.

If you would like to “try out” your ideas, please complete this form and send to Les at

Finally, thank you for your patience in reading through this. If any links in this EU Funds Update don’t work, please e mail for a direct link or file copy.