Where does ESF invest?

The European Social Fund’s work takes place all over England and Gibraltar, from multimillion pound contracts involving dozens of delivery partners across whole counties through to very small community grants supporting local groups to help people into work. The Places area on ESF-Works focuses on European Social Funds as it is being delivered in different parts of the country.


The European Social Fund in London helps to bring down barriers to employment in the capital. London is a global city and the powerhouse of the UK economy, driving productivity and economic growth, and accounting for more than 20% of gross value added (GVA).

Bristol City, UK

South East England

ESF in the South East of England supports labour market development and welfare to work in an area less seriously affected by the downturn than many others.

Harbour in Plymouth, UK

South West England

ESF in the South West of England covers the counties of Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, including Bristol. The area is reliant on critical transport and key public services. 

St Ives Cornwall

Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

As the only European Social Fund Convergence area in England, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly benefits from a higher level of funding per head of population than most other parts of the country, and has greater scope to support economic development and higher level skills development as well as tackling disadvantage, unemployment and under-employment.

Liverpool, United Kingdom

North West England

The North West of England has been seriously affected by the economic downturn, with the large metropolitan areas of Liverpool and Greater Manchester experiencing high levels of industrial unemployment. ESF funding in the North West has attempted to address this by focusing on providing support to those who have experienced or are facing redundancy, and supporting areas and sectors with growth potential.

Newcastle City UK

North East England

The European Social Fund in the North East of England works to deliver support in an area that was severely affected by the economic downturn. It is an area historically dominated by shipbuilding and coalmining, the decline of which over the past century resulted in large-scale industrial unemployment in metropolitan areas such as Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Durham and Darlington, as well as rural areas.