ESF Community Grants Programme 2019 - 2022





Hartlepool Borough Council has been awarded the contract to manage the Tees Valley Community Grants Programme, in partnership with the other four Local Authorities within the sub-region. The programme is jointly funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). There is a total of £2.7m of grant funding available over the lifetime of the programme.ESFAThere are grants of between £10,000 and £20,000 available for individual projects. The intent of the Community Grants Programme is to enable appropriate third sector and other small organisations (that would not otherwise be able to) access ESF funding for the purpose of mobilising disadvantaged or excluded unemployed and economically inactive people to facilitate their progress towards employment.

Grants will support a range of activities aimed at assisting the disadvantaged or excluded to move closer to the labour market by improving their access to local employment and skills provision. Please note that no profit can be made through grants issued within the Community Grants Programme.

Please note:

The ESF Community Grants Programme has been very successful and the £2,700,000 budget is now fully committed, therefore we plan to hold only a few more Grant Award Panel meetings from which we will be compiling a ‘Reserve List’ of projects which would be able to take up re-cycled funding from other projects than don’t need it. We are particularly interested in ‘repeat projects’ which could deliver quickly before the overall ESF Community Grants programme closes.

If you are still planning to submit an application, please do so very soon.

Please send details by email to


How to apply for ESF Community Grants 

Complete the application form and submit this to the ESF Project Team along with the required supporting documents outlined in the application by the submission deadline dates. Please note that applications must be typed.

To provide potential applicants with additional support, notes on how to complete your application form can be found within the Application Guidance Document.

The Council has also made a range of template forms available to organisations that are successful in applying for funding, to enable them to provide the necessary project monitoring data.

Download all ESF Community Grants Application documents here

ESF Funding Rules and Evidence Requirements


Assessment Process

On receipt of your application, the following stages will be followed:

Stage 1: Hartlepool Borough Council’s ESF Community Grants Project Team will make an initial assessment of your application to ensure that all relevant information is available, that the organisation is eligible for the funding and to undertake a due diligence check and to check if all relevant policies and systems are in place to meet the requirements of ESF Funding Rules. If an organisation’s application cannot be progressed at this stage, then they will be notified of the reasons why.

Stage 2: The Grants Awards Panel, consisting of representatives from the five Tees Valley Local Authorities, will meet and a final decision on your application will be made. The Grant Awards Panel will meet within three weeks of the relevant closing date. The organisation will be notified of the outcome of this decision (The ESF Community Grants Assessment Framework is available on the Council’s website which explains how each individual application will be assessed).


Further Information

Hartlepool Borough Council’s dedicated ESF Community Grants Project Team are available to discuss any questions relating to your proposed application or queries regarding your current contract. The team can be contacted via:

We will aim to respond quickly to any email enquiries.

If you are interested in submitting an application to the ESF Community Grants Programme, you must contact a representative from your Local Authority before submitting your application, to ensure that your proposals will meet the specific local need.  If you have already submitted your application, you are still advised to contact: