ESF Community Grants programme

European Social Fund (ESF) Community Grants programme

About the ESF Community Grants programme

The European Social Fund and the Education and Skills Funding Agency are jointly funding us to make small grants to charities and other organisations that help disadvantaged and unemployed people into work or training.

The ESF Community Grants programme is running from October 2016 until March 2019.

The fourth call for grant applications is open from 9am on Monday 27 August until midnight on Friday 21 September. We are unable to accept any applications received after the closing date.

Eligibility criteria and opening and closing dates for funding calls are published on our Eligibility criteria and dates for funding calls page.

We are undertaking publicity for the programme, together with organisations we fund under the programme. 

Available funding

Individual charities and support organisations can apply for grants of between £5,000 and £20,000 at a time.

Grant funding of £586,000 is available over the lifetime of the project.

Eligibility for ESF Community Grants funding

All community, voluntary and faith organisations in Oxfordshire can apply for a grant. Grants are intended to provide support to the hardest to reach communities and individuals in deprived communities across the county. Our three core priorities are:

  1. To increase social inclusion by supporting residents towards and into sustainable work, and to promote employment opportunities
  2. To help residents become better qualified and raise educational aspirations
  3. To actively promote and engage in partnership working with other key stakeholders within communities

You can find more information about:

  • funding priorities
  • the type of activities that we are likely to fund
  • target groups for project funding

on our ESF Community Grant priorities page.

How to apply

We have developed a digital toolkit which:

  • provides detailed information on ESF Community Grants project priorities
  • explains the scope of the programme
  • details eligibility guidelines
  • advises on the application process
  • outlines our procedures for making award decisions

All application and guidance documents are available to download from the ESF Community Grant digital toolkit page.

Making decisions about ESF Community Grant funding

We use a points system to assess funding applications and make awards. An ESF Community Grants Panel makes decisions about funding and monitors the progress of existing grants.

All funding decisions are made in line with our three core priorities. We publish:

Contact the ESF Community Grants programme

You can email the ESF Community Grants programme at [email protected]