Key documents

The main documents which support applicants to make good quality applications to the ESF programme can be found below. 

The ESF Operational Programme is the main document for setting out the strategy and priorities for use of the fund to support sustainable and inclusive growth across England. It also contains high level information on how the fund will be delivered, managed and evaluated.

The D2N2 ESIF Strategy outlines the LEP’s approach to the distribution of €250m of European Social and Investment Funds (ESIF) for the 2014-2020 programme.

The D2N2 ESIF Local Implementation Plan sets out an approach for translating the D2N2 ESIF Strategy into a delivery programme between 2015 and 2018. It seeks to take forward the best elements of existing practice and set out a blend of open calls, opt-ins and potentially other routes, designed to support interventions of scale and impact to maximise the value of ESIF funding for the D2N2 area. 

Summary of Responses to the D2N2 ESIF Local Implementation Plan ConsultationForty six detailed responses were made to ESIF Local Implementation Plan consultation. The key finding from consultation has been that the approach proposed by D2N2, particularly the intent to use ESIF monies to deliver the D2N2 Strategic Economic Plan via projects of scale and impact, was broadly endorsed with the majority of comments relating to how the proposed approach can be refined and better communicated in order to achieve this intent. 

The D2N2 ESIF Community Programme Report: Outlines our commitment to ensure that ESIF investment across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire meets the needs of local communities as well as the economic needs of the wider area. 

 D2N2 Social Inclusion FrameworkD2N2 LEP working with key partners have developed a social inclusion framework and strategy for the D2N2 area. This framework will shape the priorities for ESIF for social inclusion activity across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

Health and Wellbeing Pilot Scoping Report. In July 2017, D2N2 commissioned consultation and research to inform the forthcoming D2N2 Health and Wellbeing Programme European Social Fund (ESF) call, as part of the ESF Technical Assistance Programme. This was in recognition of the considerable potential of the Health and Wellbeing (HWB) sector to realise growth and provide employment.

The brief was to understand the potential for activities that enable joined-up working and that could realise the following:

  1. Health and social care workforce development
  2. Reducing dependency on health-related benefits
  3. Improving the health of the local workforce

Stakeholder engagement ran from 7th August to the 15th September. 107 people contributed from 73 organisations and partnerships reflecting the interest in these areas and the complexity of the landscape. The consultation was supplemented by desk-based research. A copy of the executive summary is available here

D2N2 ESF ReviewD2N2 appointed Chimera Consulting to review and provide insight into the effectiveness and strategic alignment of the D2N2 ESF Programme, highlighting opportunities for further improvement to inform future D2N2 strategy and commissioning.

Chimera was tasked to consult on the usefulness of the pre-events to potential bidders and support given at the pre-bidding and commissioning stage; to gather opinion on gaps, strengths and weaknesses in current provision; to gain an understanding of what aspects are working well and what would benefit from improvements - to help inform future commissioning; and get a sense of the appetite for (and availability of) match funding.

Within the four weeks available, Chimera secured feedback from 61 key contacts (all prime contractors, some non-contracted providers, schools, employers, individual beneficiaries, Local Authorities and Enterprise Co-ordinators). In the main, these were obtained through in-depth face to face consultations but supported by online formats of all consultative tools, which were available for self-completion and for inputting feedback obtained in person.

D2N2 Skills, Employment and Social Inclusion GuideTo achieve the ambitions of Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is putting in place the infrastructure and conditions to support business and employment growth This will include a fit-for-purpose skills and training system which:

  • Ensures our young people are properly prepared for work.
  • Enables employers to access the skilled workers they need.
  • Supports people, including the most disadvantaged, to develop the skills and
  • employability needed to gain, retain and enhance employment and earnings.


Applying to the European Social Fund

A number of useful resources to support applications to the ESF are available on the GOV.UK website. We suggest that you refer to the following as you plan your application

The following programme guidance is also available on the GOV.UK website:

Delivering European Social Fund Projects

The following programme guidance is available on the GOV.UK website:

  • Eligibility Rules
  • Procurement Law
  • State Aid Law
  • Branding and Publicity Requirements
  • Output Indicator Definitions
  • Example funding agreements

The GOV.UK ESIF useful resources webpage provides links to:

Please check the GOV.UK website regularly to ensure you are accessing the most up to date guidance documentation.

Get in touch with the team

The D2N2 Technical Assistance Team members for European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF)

Our team