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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

School Funding: Exceptional Costs Associated with Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has set out the additional financial support it has put in place to ensure schools can focus on the vital role they are playing during the coronavirus pandemic. It covers support for schools up to the end of the 2019 to 2020 summer term.

There will be some instances where schools face additional costs as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and will not be able to cover these from their existing resources. This funding will support those cases.

Funding is available to cover costs relating to specific items judged necessary to allow schools to provide appropriate support to those children attending school during the period of partial closure.

There are three agreed cost categories against which applicants can make a claim:

  • Increased premises related costs of keeping schools open over school holiday periods, for vulnerable children and children of critical workers

  • Support for free school meal (FSM) children who are not attending school, other than through the national voucher scheme

  • Additional cleaning, over and above existing cleaning arrangements, where applicants have a suspected or confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Claims must be made at school/academy level but can be submitted by individual establishments or collectively by multi-academy trusts on behalf of their academies (via a single claim).

Claims are welcome from the following establishment categories:

  • Primary/secondary/all through maintained schools, academies, and free schools

  • 16 to 19 academies and maintained schools

  • Maintained special schools

  • Special academies and free schools

  • Non-maintained special schools

  • Pupil referral units

  • Alternative provision academies and free schools

  • Maintained hospital schools and academies.

Schools will be eligible to claim up to the limits set out below:

Mainstream schools

250 pupils or fewer


251 to 500 pupils


501 to 1000 pupils


Over 1000 pupils


Special schools and alternative provision

All schools: £50,000.

Claims must be submitted by the 21 July 2020 deadline.

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