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ESIF and the Third Sector

European Structural and Investment Funds and the Third Sector

Historically, the Third Sector has always played an active role in the delivery of a range of ESIF-funded projects, ensuring they have a positive impact on people and communities throughout Scotland.

When the ESIF 2014-2020 programmes were being developed, the Scottish Government worked with the European Commission to ensure Scotland’s third sector could access the funds and play an active role in the long-term delivery of the projects

The 2014-2020 structure enables third sector organisations to access funds under the following Strategic Interventions:

  • Employability Pipelines

  • Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction

  • Growing the Social Economy

The Employability Pipeline strategic intervention (SI) was one of the first to be approved as part of Scotland’s 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Fund programmes. To date £43.7 million in European Social Funds has been approved up to the end of 2018 to lead partners Skills Development Scotland and Scotland’s 32 local authorities. The lead partners are responsible for awarding the funds to individual projects, working with the Managing Authority (Scottish Government) to ensure only eligible activity receives financial support.

Recent analysis indicates that third sector organisations will receive between 10% and 100% of the local authority-led Employability Pipeline funding, with an average of 56% of this funding being delivered through the third sector.

The Employability Pipeline SI also includes £12.08 million allocated to Skills Development Scotland to operate a National Third Sector Fund. Other than minor administrative costs, this entire fund will be accessible and dedicated to activity delivered by the third sector.

Further information about the SIs, including individual local authority allocations accessible to the Third Sector is available here.