European Funding


ESF Project Bulletin

The European Social Fund Project Bulletin, issued by the ESF Managing Authority in the Department for Work and Pensions, is aimed at partners delivering ESF projects to keep you up-to-date with the latest news and developments in the programme, and help you deliver your project in line with requirements.

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Social European Structural and Investment Funds 2014-20

All the latest Information can be found on the VONNE Website

An update on the European Social Fund grant awards 

Over recent months, £70m of European Social Funding has been granted to providers across the North East LEP region to support 30,000 local people into employment and to develop the skills of our workforce. Read on for a brief overview of the most recent projects:

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Better Together EU Update: 

Attached is a copy of the most recent briefing note from VONNE about employability and skills programmes. It’s a regional overview, with most recent development highlighted in red text.

Funding on offer to boost rural economy 

Over £2m worth of European funding is now available for projects to strengthen the economy of rural areas across the North Pennine Dales.
The North Pennine Dales (NPD) LEADER programme is seeking applications for the grant to fund projects that increase farm and forestry production, boost rural tourism or support small and micro businesses and farm diversification. Bids are also welcome for projects which provide cultural and heritage activities or offer rural services. Running until 2020, Durham County Council acts as the accountable body for the NPD LEADER programme which covers an extensive rural area across Gateshead, County Durham and south of Northumberland.

The aim of the €2.666m* programme is to create jobs and support strong and sustainable economic growth as well as helping to conserve the unique nature of the local landscapes. By funding projects put forward by people, groups and businesses in the area it also hopes to target areas that the communities themselves see as a priority.

Cllr Eddie Tomlinson, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for rural issues, said: “The LEADER programme promises more jobs and stronger economies for rural areas across the region. By offering funding towards priorities that local communities themselves feel are important these projects can make a real difference for generations to come so we’d encourage everyone in the area with ideas to get in touch.”

People can find out more by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 03000 266 895 or online at

Growth Programme: Grants for the Rural Economy – Defra

The European Growth Programme provides funding to help projects which create jobs and boost the economy in England. These grants are funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) manages the grants, working with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and local partners.
From March 2015, the RPA is publishing ‘calls for applications’ under the Growth Programme. The calls for application invite applications for grants in specific LEP areas. Calls for applications are currently open in a limited number of LEP areas, as part of an initial phase, before the programme opens fully. These calls will only include some of the grants listed below, depending on local priorities.
The website states that calls for applications will open across the country “from June.” The grants that are available will reflect the priorities of each local area and may include:
• Business development
• Business start-up
• Renewable energy
• Small scale tourism infrastructure
• Tourism co-operation
• Food processing

NE LEP area Community Led Local Development (CLLD) call opened 

The initial development of this European funding opportunity is likely to be co-ordinated by local authorities and provides an opportunity for VCSE organisations to be part of local action groups to shape the CLLD strategy for their areas.
When the CLLD programmes go live there will be further opportunities for VCSE organisations to bid in to develop and deliver local activity. The number and geographical location of potential CLLD areas will be limited and defined by IMD 2010 data.

This call is looking to support delivery of CLLD using a two stage process. For more information on what CLLD is see the introductory information on our website and further guidance can be found on the website.
VONNE would encourage VCSE organisations interested in this opportunity to contact their relevant local authority contact - a list of contacts can be found here.