Application Guidance

Completed Challenge Fund forms and a signed match funding letter should be completed using the online form by 5pm on Monday 29 November 2021.

10 December 2021Moray Council to inform applicants whether successful
10 January 2021Earliest possible start dates for projects – actual start dates to be confirmed in a contract between Council and organisation.
31 March 2023Projects must be complete by this date.


You must complete and submit to a spreadsheet showing your eligible costs and funding for your project between the start of your project and 31 March 2023. Click Here to Download Spreadsheet

There are two options for the types of eligible costs you can claim.

  1. Staff salaries (including NI and pension) plus 15% oncosts.
  2. Or Staff Salaries (including NI and pension) plus 40% oncosts.

The oncosts would be to cover any other associated costs with the project (for example accreditation and training and travel costs for the participants)  If you select the “staff plus 40%” cost method then you must detail what you expect the “plus 40%” to contain (e.g., hire of room, participant travel costs etc…).

Note that staff must spend 100% of their time on this European funded project and you must be able to evidence this (by a job description and contract and/or assignment letter).

Also note that the participants’ salaries for a wage subsidy schemes are not eligible staff costs (although they could be included within the 15% or 40% allowable oncosts).

ESF Grant funding will be 80% of eligible costs.

Targets/outputs ( Profile Document )

You must complete the targets spreadsheet and submit it to showing what the outcomes and results of your project will be. You must use the categories provided in the blank spreadsheet.  Click Here to Download Spreadsheet

Please note that the Scottish Government may impose fines on Moray Council for the non-achievement of targets and this may affect your organisation.


The minimum eligible cost for your project should be £25,000

Any staff expenses claimed on your project must be for staff who spend 100% of their time on this European funded project.

Your organisations must be either a public body or a registered charity.

Your organisation must be able to provide a source of match funding of at least 20%, either from your own funds or as a result of an application to the local employability partnership. The match funding must not be other European funding and it must not be “in kind” funding.

Your project must contain at least one output and three results from the list of targets as detailed in the attached targets spreadsheet.

Your project must fit with the Local Employability Partnership demand statement ( Demand Statement ) and you must choose which of the options you can deliver on.

Your project must fit with the European Social Fund Operational Programme criterion of “provide direct routes to sustainable employment for unemployed and inactive with multiple barriers”.

Your project must fit with the aims of the employability pipeline as explained in the demand statement (Demand Statement).


Your Challenge Fund application will be assessed by the commissioning subgroup from the local employability partnership (LEP).

Your project will be assessed on the basis of quality as follows:

  • Any proposed match funding is “clean” i.e. non European and non Private – pass/fail
  • At least £25,000 eligible costs – pass/fail
  • Staff spending 100% of time on project – pass/fail
  • Wage subsidy schemes are not eligible costs – pass/fail
  • Your organisation is a public body or a registered charity – pass/fail
  • At least one output and three results recorded – pass/fail
  • Your experience of successfully running similar projects – weighting 15%
  • Your proposed project – weighting 25%
  • Your projects fit with criteria in the demand statement ( Demand Statement ) and outcomes for the listed themes 40%  
  • Value for money 20%

You will be scored out of 5 for each category as follows:

UnansweredAbsolutely no response provided0
UnsatisfactoryFails to meet the required standard in most or all areas1
Less than AcceptableFails to meet the required standards in some areas2
AcceptableMeets the required standard3
High StandardExceeds the required standard in some areas4
OutstandingExceeds the required standards in most or all areas5

Only organisations which score over 50% may be invited go ahead with their project.

Further Information

Any questions regarding the administration aspects of this fund please contact  Any questions relating to the funding criteria and themes within the demand statement, please contact

Any questions that you have must be in writing. The questions and answers provided by the Council will be available for any other organisation to view. Please email if you want to see questions/answers from other organisations and they will be emailed to you. The last question should be emailed by Wednesday 24 November 2021.

There are full details of the European funding on the Scottish Government’s website.

Note that the National Rules on Eligibility of Expenditure must be adhered to. These rules can be found here

Note that the main geographical focus of your project should be Moray and at least 85% of the participants in your project should be resident in Moray.

The Document Retention rules must also be followed.

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