South East Midlands and Northamptonshire ESF Community Grants Fund 2016 – 2017

What are Community Grants?

The Community Grants programme makes funds available in the form of small grants to third sector organisations, to reduce unemployment rates and inactivity amongst very disadvantaged populations. The funds are managed by Futures Advice Skills and Employment and jointly funded by the Skills Funding Agency and the European Social Fund.

How much can I apply for?
Group can apply for grants between £5,000 and £20,000.

What is the funding for?
Funding is for local groups to work with people to raise their skills and confidence and help them to move closer towards learning and work. Projects can last no longer than 6 months.

Which organisations can apply for funding?
Locally based, constituted not-for-profit groups across the South East Midlands and Northamptonshire local enterprise partnership areas.

Who should the funding support?
The funding will support unemployed adults in under-developed areas and individuals under-represented in the labour market. Priority should be given to people with low or no qualifications, those lacking literacy and numeracy skills, lone parents, people with disabilities, learning difficulties or health conditions, people aged 50 or over, people from ethnic minorities and young NEET people (aged 15 and above Northamptonshire LEP area only)

What sort of activity can the funding support?
The funding can support a wide range of creative, interesting informal learning activities which develop confidence and skills and encourage participation in further learning and work.

What outcomes are we looking for?
The grants will support participants’ progression so that they are confident in their ability to move into training on offer through mainstream provision, and employment.

The grants will support a wide range of activities which will include:

• Initial help with basic skills
• Taster work experience including voluntary work
• Training, advice and counselling
• Confidence building
• Job search assistance including the provision of equipment and other assistance necessary to secure employment
• First contact engagement activities

What can the grant be spent on?
Grants can only fund a discrete piece of activity. The grant should meet all of the costs of delivering that project, staff costs, resources, small items of equipment required for the delivery, premises costs associated with delivery and costs incurred to support participants e.g. travel costs or childcare costs.

When can I apply?
There will be three application rounds for Northamptonshire and four application rounds for South East Midlands in 2016/17. Expected launch dates are:

Application round Launch date SEMLEP


Launch date Northants
Round 1 July 2016 July 2016
Round 2 November 2016 December 2016
Round 3 April 2017 July 2017
Round 4 August 2017 NA

How do I apply?
For an application pack send an email to

Contact Sam Burke on 0115 960 1597 or Tony Sisson on 0115 960 1547 if you would like to talk things through prior to applying.

What is needed by the deadline?
You will need to submit your completed application and a copy of your Constitution or set of rules, by the published deadlines. All applications must be submitted electronically. Any application received after the deadline has passed will not be accepted.

About Futures
Futures is one of the leading employment and skills organisations in the East Midlands. We make it possible for people of all ages to realise their career potential through the delivery of a range of high quality products and services.

Telephone: 0115 960 1597