£3.9 million available for the development of innovative solutions to some of the Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly’s key employment challenges

Up to £3.9 million is now available through the European Social Fund (ESF) to develop collaborative and innovative solutions to some of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly’s key challenges that impact upon people gaining employment.

The funding that is available forms part of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Programme to deliver economic regeneration for the region from 2014-2020.

Supporting unemployed and inactive participants, this funding opportunity requires applicants to develop and deliver innovative solutions to tackle key challenges to increase participation in the labour market and improve social inclusion and mobility.  The key challenges that form the initial areas for discovery and solution finding are Health and Wellbeing, Smart Money and Food Wealth.

Mark Williams, representing employment and skills on the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Board that supports the Growth Programme said ‘Instead of simply treating the symptoms, this European funding opportunity will help us to address some of the root causes of poverty that are barriers to general wellbeing, work and an inclusive society, and so help more people to move closer to, or into employment. The nature of the issues faced by the most disadvantaged means that these barriers must be tackled in an integrated way, including through supporting early action before problems become entrenched representing a new approach to our pressing social demands.’

Local partners are seeking to use ESF investment for integrated packages of support that address gaps in provision for disadvantaged groups and reach those who are not currently receiving support. Investment will help to tackle inactivity particularly by helping to overcome barriers, improve employability and move towards employment. There will be a particular focus on workless households, including working through local authority partnerships delivering the extended Troubled Families programme.

The investment priority will help address a range of issues, and any other barriers to work which individuals face. Many face multiple disadvantages and as a result have chaotic lifestyles which make engaging with support and addressing barriers all the more difficult. If the underlying issues are not addressed, they will struggle to move on. 

Full detail about this funding opportunity and the application process can be found at


Further information about the European Social Fund can be found at http://www.erdfconvergence.org.uk/growth-programme/esf  

Editor’s notes 

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Programme is part of the England Growth Programme, which will run from 2014-2020.  Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is the only area in England to qualify as a ‘Less Developed’ region and has an allocation of €603.7million which is split as follows:

European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) €438 million

European Social Fund (ESF) €166 million    


The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) has an allocation of £10 million in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, aligned with the wider England Growth Programme.


Details of all Growth Programme calls can be found at https://www.gov.uk/european-structural-investment-funds?keywords=&location%5B%5D=south-west



Louise Danks

[email protected]

07815 002271

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly ITI Support Team

Cornwall Council,

Floor 5, Zone A

Pydar House, Pydar Street, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 1XU

Email us at: [email protected]

Visit us at: www.erdfconvergence.org.uk/growthprogramme

Follow us: @GrowthProgramme

Wednesday 27 April 2016