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Grants and External Funding

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Open 4 Business Portal

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To support our businesses during the current COVID-19 crisis, and into the recovery phase, Carlisle City Council is providing free access to Open 4 Business. Open4Business is designed to support businesses locate relevant up to date funding opportunities.

The portal is updated regularly with new local, regional and national funding announcements and can be easily searched by businesses on the basis of their industry, region and business size. The portal then provides information on how to apply for funding and contact funders directly. To search for grants for your business you will first need to register on the Open4Business website


Grants and Funding News

College Collaboration Fund Opens Second Round

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The Department for Education (DfE) has launched the second round of its £9 million national grant programme for all statutory further education (FE) colleges in England.

The College Collaboration Fund (CCF) enables colleges to collaborate and share good practice and expertise to address common quality improvement priorities.

CCF aims to:

  • Develop greater collaboration between FE colleges, usually, but not exclusively, in the same geographic place

  • Stimulate quality improvement through developing sector-led approaches peer-to-peer support and sharing good practice

  • Ensure sustainable FE provision through adopting process which supports high performance

  • Produce products and approaches to quality improvement that can be adopted by other FE providers

  • Stimulate the market and provider base to support ongoing quality improvement

  • Develop a stronger FE offer through improving the quality of FE provision and learner outcomes, including progression to level 3 qualifications

  • Better meet local and national skills priorities and improve labour market outcomes for learners.

As a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the first application round for the CCF was cancelled. The DfE have now adjusted the application process and opened the second round of the CCF to support FE colleges to respond to the current challenges.

Statutory FE colleges in England can apply. These are:

  • General FE colleges

  • Sixth form colleges (except those in the process of converting to an academy in the 2020 to 2021 financial year)

  • Designated institutions.

Each application will need a lead college and either a minimum of one other college or a maximum of four other colleges.

To lead a bid, colleges must have either Ofsted grade 1 (outstanding) or grade 2 (good) for overall effectiveness.

A total fund of £5.4 million is available for this round. Applications are invited for grants of a value up to £500,000 with an expected minimum value of £100,000.

Application forms should be submitted by the deadline of 28 June 2020.

How To Apply

Application forms should be submitted by the deadline of 28 June 2020.

Applicants should contact other colleges to find partners and agree who will be the lead college and who will be the partner college or colleges.

Application forms should be submitted to: [email protected] using the subject line ‘CCF Application’

The DfE will let applicants know the outcome of their application after 10 July 2020.

Payment Procedure

For the first round successful colleges will receive payment of their grant by the 18 June 2020.

Useful documents & links

Useful Links

Addresses and contacts

For further information on how to obtain this grant locally, please contact the following:

  1. CCF Enquiries
    Department for Education (DfE)
    Email: [email protected]

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