Co-financingi is a new way of administering ESFi money which brings together European funding and other public funding streams to provide complete packages of funding for providers delivering activity that aims to:

  • Tackle long-term unemployment
  • Help young people and those at risk from not being able to find work
  • Improve training, education and counselling for lifelong learning
  • Encourage entrepreneurship and adaptability in the workplace
  • Promote equal opportunities and improve the role of women in the workforce

This new method of delivering European funding has been developed in response to experiences of providers delivering traditional European programmes and, in particular this approach aims to:

  • Promote greater co-ordination and targeting of provision
  • Reduce bureaucracy, and the administration burden on providers
  • Allow for innovation and creativity at regional and local levels
  • Place more emphasis on the quality of provision
  • Ensure more systematic monitoring of provision
  • Ensure that ESF money adds more value to the delivery of Government programmes

ESF monies are now mostly accessed through Co-financing.

Geographic Coverage

The operational area of the North West Objective 3i Programme is comprised of the counties of Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester and Lancashire.

There are 6 Co-financing organisations in the North West; the 5 Local Learning and Skills Councils and Jobcentre Plus.

Each Co-financing organisation is autonomous, they set their own deadlines for applications and may fund differing activities although in line with ESF rules and regulations. For specific details of a particular Co-financing organisation please refer to the individual sections.

In respect of any LSCi you are advised to read their prospectuses and tender specifications carefully to ensure that the tender you are applying under covers the geographical area you intend to operate in. Although the LSCs have sub-regional coverage not all the activity they may seek to fund will be sub-regional.

Cheshire and Warrington LSC

Cheshire and Warrington LSC covers the boroughs of Chester, Congleton, Crewe and Nantwich, Ellesmere Port and Neston, Macclesfield, Vale Royal and Warrington.

Cumbria LSC

The Cumbria LSC covers the following districts: Allerdale, Barrow in Furness, Carlisle, Copeland, Eden and South Lakeland.

Lancashire LSC

The Lancashire area includes 14 local authority districts, Lancaster, Wyre, Ribble Valley, Blackpool, Fylde, Preston, Pendle, Blackburn with Darwen, Rossendale, Chorley, West Lancashire and Hyndburn, two of which are unitary authorities (Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool).

Greater Manchester LSC

Greater Manchester LSC covers ten local authority districts: Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan. LSC’s Co-financing activities cover the whole county of Greater Manchester, although providers should read each programme specification to check whether it is targeted at specific areas.

Within the ten local authority districts of Greater Manchester there are a number of wards that have been identified as experiencing high levels of deprivation. It is the LSC's policy to ensure that these areas are targeted for support wherever possible. Therefore when setting out plans for targeting particular areas, you should consider how you will make certain that these deprived areas benefit from the planned activities.

Greater Merseyside LSC

Greater Merseyside LSC covers both Objective 1i and Objective 3. The only part of Merseyside which is classified as an Objective 3 area is Halton the rest of their geographic coverage is Objective 1.

If you want to apply for funding in an Objective 1 area of Merseyside please contact Merseyside Network for Europe.

Andy Churchill
Merseyside Network for Europe
6th Floor
Cunard Building
Pier Head
Water Street
L3 1EG
Tel: 0151 258 1454
Fax:0151 258 1481

Jobcentre Plus
Jobcentre Plus covers activity across all Objective 3 areas in the North West region (Lancashire, Cumbria, Cheshire and Greater Manchester).

Jobcentre Plus will be funding activity that complements their strategic remit in the following policy fields and measures;

Policy Field 1, Measures 1 and 2
Policy Field 2, Measure 2
Policy Field 4, Measure 3

Regional Activity

There may be a joint Prospectus issued by the CFOs in the North West for activity that covers the whole of the North West region in the near future. Until this is available, applicants should restrict themselves to the areas stated in the individual Prospectuses.

Policy Fields and Measures

Regional partners have agreed not to Co-finance any activity under Measures 2.3 and 5.2. These Measures will be handled by direct bidding to Government Office North West (GONWi). The North West LSCs have determined that they will not be Co-financing any activity under Measure 4.3. Measure 4.3 will be handled partly by direct bidding to GONW and partly by co-financing by Jobcentre Plus.