Please send me SCA's fortnightly briefing:

October 7, 2015

Don’t be put off

Most people’s response to any mention of EU funds is two-fold. Firstly, people imagine that the application process will be impossibly complicated. And secondly that the paperwork involved in the monitoring and evaluation will be mountainous. Neither is necessarily the case.  But what is true is that there some very real opportunities for communities to apply in the new 2014 -20 programme. First thing to do is attend the next masterclass. If you can’t attend, read this latest update and fill in an expression of interest


Les Huckfield

EU Funds Update

As previously, there are links throughout this EU Funds Update. If any links in this Update don’t work, please email (which is our new e mail address) for a direct link or file copy.

European Social Fund is available under 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.

The “big news” is still that ESF Employability Allocations have now been approved for 16 of Scotland’s 32 Local Authorities and for the National Employability Programme run by Skills Development Scotland. Please  visit this link and, if your local authority has an ESF approval, please made contact as advised below.

Continuing our series of EU Funds Masterclasses, Les Huckfield will be delivering another EU Funds Masterclass for the Scottish Borders Region at 1030 on Friday 30 October 2015 at The Buccleuch Arms, Melrose. Please use this link to make your reservation. Les is also speaking at the following events:

•             Voluntary Action Scotland Third Sector Interface Conference at the Beardmore Hotel, Clydebank on Tuesday 13 October 2015

•             Community Transport Association Annual Conference at Gogarburn on Tuesday 03 November 2015

•             CRNS Annual Conference at the Scottish Parliament on Friday 06 November 2015


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. Latest information from Big Lottery is that though it has received official approval as the Strategic Lead partner, Operational Programme details are still being worked out. This still means that this timetable is running late. Many third sector organistions will be involved in consortia which will be tendering in these areas.

Strategic Objective 22 Poverty and Social Inclusion (coupled with Employability Strategic Objectives 11 and 12). This part of the ESF Programme is being delivered through Local Authorities. This is an updated version of the presentation which Leslie Huckfield made at the initial meeting of the Employability Social Enterprise Network in Glasgow on Wednesday 05 August 2015.

This is an important new Network. Organisations interested should contact

The important news is that ESF Employability Allocations have now been approved for Skills Development Scotland for its National Employability Programme and for 16 out of 32 Local Authorities. Colleagues should visit this link and ask relevant Local Authorities how they intend to proceed. Les and Jayne have prepared a table showing latest developments for each local authority. Though this includes ESF Employability Allocations, where these have been approved by Scottish Government, this is still incomplete,. So if you have any information to add, please kindly click on this link return the file to Jayne at the address above. She has also sent this table to all Employablity Social Enterprise Network members who have already registered an interest.

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 €12mn 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.

Les Huckfield has prepared this Summary Note on four ERDF Strategic Packages which are most relevant for third sector organisations. As usual, this information is published with a “health warning”, since it represents latest available information – which may change in future.

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.  


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 Huckfield at soon as possible.

Please note that this is not an official form. Its purpose is to encourage potential applicants with ideas for projects to formulate expressions of interest in line with the focused and targeted approach of current ESF, ERDF and SRDP Programme. Completion of this form and any initial response is no guarantee of funding in future.

Finally, thank you for your patience in reading through this.

If any links in this EU Funds Update don’t work, please e mail mailto:info@eufunds.scotfor a direct link or file copy.