European Social Fund in England

2007 - 2013

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The European Social Fund is:
  • extending employment opportunities
  • developing a skilled and adaptable workforce
This website is part financed by European Social Fund Technical Assistance.

Regional ESF Frameworks

Regional ESF frameworks play an important role in ensuring that ESF contributes directly to regional employment and skills priorities within the structure of the national ESF programme.

Regional ESF frameworks show how ESF spending can complement regional employment and skills priorities, as set out in the Regional Economic Strategy. They show how regional ESF spending will be targeted, for example towards particular disadvantaged groups, or in terms of employee training or particular business sectors.

The frameworks are used by ESF Co-financing Organisations to inform their Co-financing Plans. The Co-financing Plans describe the activities, outputs and results that CFOs will procure to contribute to the national programme and regional frameworks.

The frameworks were originally developed by Regional Skills Partnerships in 2007 in consultation with other regional partners. The frameworks are being revised during autumn 2009 to take account of the changing economic environment and to inform planning for the 2010-2013 phase of the ESF programme.

An evaluation of the first round of regional ESF frameworks was published in August 2009.

The original regional ESF frameworks are available here:

Regional Financial Allocations

The table below sets out regional ESF financial allocations in sterling based on the current planning rate. The allocations were determined by regional worklessness and skills data, as set out in the Government's response to the consultation on the UK National Strategic Reference Framework which was published by the Department of Trade and Industry on 23 October 2006. The Regional Competitiveness and Employment Objective allocations do not include technical assistance funding which will be managed centrally.

Convergence Objective ESF funding
Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly £164 million
Regional Competitiveness and Employment Objective (phasing-in)
Merseyside £162 million
South Yorkshire £143 million
Regional Competitiveness and Employment Objective (main)
East of England £189 million
East Midlands £203 million
Gibraltar £2.8 million
London £403 million
North East £196 million
North West (excluding Merseyside) £276 million
South East £188 million
South West (excluding Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly) £119 million
West Midlands £305 million
Yorkshire and the Humber (excluding South Yorkshire) £177 million