Matching Funding
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Matching Funding

All European funding needs to be matched. For ESF, you normally have to provide 55 per cent of the total project costs and will receive 45 per cent from EU funds. For ERDF it is 50 per cent. Matching funding can include: Any public money - charities, including you are public bodies for this purpose
Existing funding for this area of work from any of the sources below
Costed resources in kind ie, staff time, meeting space, etc
Any other sources of support you receive such as rate rebates

    Eligible Matching Money
  • Local Authority grants
  • Rural Development Commission
  • Grant Making Trusts
  • Government Departments (But ineligible if this money already comes from Europe)
  • Colleges or HEFC/FEFC
  • Training and Enterprise Council (Not all TEC funding is eligible - ask your TEC contact)
  • National Lottery
  • Single Regeneration Budget

Volunteer time is not currently eligible although various organisations are negotiating for this to be counted as matched funding, especially as other sources of matched funds are proving difficult to access.

The Cash Flow Dilemma
European Social Fund money and other funds which operate to broadly the same criteria (eg, Community Initiatives) provide funing in three slices (or tranches in Eurospeak): the first tranche is 50 per cent up front; the second tranche is 30 per cent after the first tranche is partially spent; the Final Claim is 20 per cent within six months of the project's end.

The infamous cash flow problems people have experienced with ESF money occur when the decision making process is delayed, at regional, national or Commission level. This means you can't start your project until you know you are getting the money. There is no slippage for the end of the projject and everything can get squeezed out in the middle. This tends to be a problem in yers when the process changes - as it will this year.

European funding runs from 1 January to 31 December. ESF funds projects one year at a time. Community Initiatives can be for up to three years.