Hints and Tips

When Preparing Your Project

  • Make sure that the project matches the aims, strategy and value of your organisation and that you are clear about what you want to do
  • You need to be able to justify why the funding is needed and what would happen without it
  • That your project addresses a local need, you’ll need the evidence to prove this
  • Make sure your project fits with the Regional Development Plan and other relevant strategies
  • Ensure that you have a secure match fundingi package in place and that these sources are clean (not from European Funds)
  • Evaluate whether your organisation has the capacity, personnel and resources to deliver the project if approved
  • How will your project take into account the programme's three cross cutting themes, namely - Sustainable Developmenti, Equal Opportunities and Information and Communication Technology

When Filling in Your Application

  • Read and answer the questions – when the question asks how …, then explain how!
  • Always refer to the Regional Selection Guidance Notes Applications Guidance for the relevant round – this can be found on the GONWi website (documents section) at, www.eurofundingnw.org.uk
  • Please make sure that you are fully aware of, and address, the appraisal criteria for your specific measurei
  • Write the answers in Microsoft Word then cut and paste them into the application – it makes it easier to read while you’re typing, also you’ll be able to e-mail your answers to the European Team for a ‘Bid Improvement’ prior to submission. To cut your text, highlight the appropriate section and then use the Control and C keys simultaneously. To paste your text, go to the relevant section on the application form and press Control and V simultaneously. NB Some characters (such as hyphens etc) will not be acknowledged by the interactive software so make sure that you proof read the final version
  • Please note that answers to each of the nine questions must be limited to one page of normal font A4 text on the printout. Any text exceeding this limit will be ignored for scoring purposes
  • Allow yourself time to complete
  • Get someone not involved in preparing the bid to read it before submission

When Returning Forms Remember to

  • Sign, stamp and copy all relevant forms
  • Do not use correction fluid
  • Check that all details, such as bank details, address and telephone number, are correct

Always keep a copy of your original application and any correspondence on file.

Top Ten Application Submission Errors

1. Unsigned/Unstamped Public Match Fundingi Certificates (PMFCs)
Ensure that you fill out all sections of the PMFCs, allow yourself time if they need to be sent to an external body for signing. Remember if you are a registered charity you are eligible to provide your own match funding and sign and stamp your own PMFCs. If your organisation does not have a stamp, provide with your application a letter on company headed paper with words to that effect.
2. Amount of Public Match Funding in Section 7 of the application differs to that specified on the Certificates
Please ensure that your figures add up.
3. Inconsistent Auditi and/or Validation Codes
The Audit and Validation Codes should be the same throughout the project application, including those on the PMFCs and Promoters Declarations. If you validate your application, then un-validate it to make changes it’s likely that the codes will change. In order to avoid this you’ll need to re-validate and print out the whole application – including supporting certificates.
4. Amending and re-submitting an application from a previous round
Audit and Validation codes are project specific, if you amend and re-submit a previous application these codes will be invalid and will be rejected by systems at Government Office North West. You can cut and paste your answers from a previous application into a new one but not submit a previously submitted amended application. This includes taking sections from previous applications and putting them alongside sections from a new application!
5. Ineligible Costs
Make sure that the costs you put down under the different cost headings are eligible, for example no one item costs over £1000, and that they come under the appropriate cost heading. If in doubt either contact a member of the European Team or refer to the ESFi Guidance Notes.
6. Lack of detail under cost headings
Remember to break down your costs, such as staff costs – detail at what level, if they’re part-time, don’t simply put in a big lump sum.
7. Ineligible project start or end date
Ensure that the date is on or within the eligible period for the bidding round you are applying under.
8. No Promoter’s Declaration
If your project is restricted to a particular race or sex you need to complete and include the relevant promoter’s declarations with your application. These will automatically be printed off when you have completed and validated your application.
9. Floppy disk with exported interactive application form not sent
You are required to send a copy of your application on the interactive software – without this your application will not pass first stage checks.
10. Missing Pages/Sections
Ensure when you submit your application that all the sections are there and no pages are missing.

Remember when submitting your ESF Application to North West Network to send,

  • The original application
  • Original signed and stamped Public Match Funding Certificates
  • Promoters Declarations if applicable
  • Interactive Application form on a three and a half inch floppy disk
  • 3 paper copies of the original application, Public Match Funding Certificates and Promoters Declarations

Top Ten Final Claimi Errors

1. Incomplete Applications
Please ensure that the application is signed and stamped and you include a disk containing the application. If no company stamp is available include a letterhead.
2. Incorrect Bank Account Numbers
If you have changed bank accounts during the lifetime of the project Government Office North West should have been notified. Ensure that you have the correct bank account number on your Project Closure Report – remembering to include leading zeros at the front of an account number.
3. Incorrect Names or Addresses
Similarly if the project venue or person in charge has changed, Government Office North West should have been notified prior to submission of the Project Closure Report.
4. Incorrect Programme Number
Don’t confuse the dossier numberi with the programme number – both can be found on your offer letter.
5. Method of calculating depreciationi not shown, or the calculations
There are two methods of calculating depreciation shown in the PCRi Guidance. You need to show how you have calculated depreciation for each item, remember you must be consistent with the method you use.
6. Significant Changes not reported
All significant changes to the project, that is if anything changes +/-15%, must be reported to Government Office North West before the final claim is submitted.
7. General Statements of Expenditurei (GSEi) not signed by each match funder
Every match funder must sign a GSE to legally state that they have provided £X of match funding towards the project. This must be signed and stamped by the match funder in question.
8. Payment history inputted incorrectly into PCR
The PCR asks how much money you have already received, if this section is incorrect the amount due will not match the amount on the Government Office North West payment system and the PCR will be returned. Ensure that you input the correct figures, if you’re unsure about how much you have received please contact Government Office North West.
9. Insufficient detail in costs sections
Ensure that items are fully broken down showing all calculations. Staff costs should identify the number of staff, proportion of time spent on each project, hourly rate/annual salary. Claims should give a full breakdown of beneficiaryi related items, for example the number of beneficiaries receiving assistance and amounts they received. List minor items of equipment remembering that individual items costing over £1000 are not eligible. If you have hired or leased equipment you must include a copy of the arrangements.
10. Actual detail not recorded in the PCR
You must record actual costs in your PCR – notional or estimated items will not be accepted.

Upon completion an original hard copy of the PCR should be sent to Government Office North West along with a disk containing the interactive PCR, signed and stamped GSEs and a copy of the final audit certificate (if applicable). Remember to clearly label the disk with the name of your organisation, the project title and dossieri number. Keep a copy of the completed PCR and the software for future reference.