The WEA is an Institute for Adult Learning (IAL) in England and receives public funding from the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

WEA Scotland receives core funding from the Scottish Government in the form of a Strategic Funding Partnership Agreement with Education Scotland. With a carefully structured fee policy that ensures those who can afford to pay do so, the WEA is able to generate fee income.

Further income is sourced from a wide range of grants and contracts funding sources, including the National Lottery, other government departments, health organisations, endowment and trust funds and local authorities.

The WEA is distinguished by the extensive roles played by volunteers, from governance through to classroom support. Ofsted said that “a key strength of the organisation has been, and continues to be, the strong historical bond that exists between employees and volunteer members of the organisation”.

The input of volunteers makes our adult education work distinctive and research conducted as part of the Government’s ‘Pound Plus’ methodology has estimated the value of volunteering to the WEA to be in the order of £4.3 million per year.

European Social Fund (ESF)
The training you receive could be funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency and as such may be used as match funding for ESF and part-funded by the European Social Fund.

Our projects receive substantial funding from the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The Department for Work and Pensions (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations. For more information visit

To find out more about how the WEA is funded, read the latest Trustees Report and Accounts in our Publications section.

See funded projects the WEA runs in various regions, Southern, North West, West Midlands. 

Funding Logos