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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

Cumberland Building Society

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Grants are available for charitable, not-for-profit organisations whose work benefits communities in Cumbria, Dumfriesshire, Lancaster, Preston and Haltwhistle.

Fund Information

Funding body:

Cumberland Building Society Charitable Foundation

Maximum value:

£ 25,000

Application deadline:



The Cumberland Building Society Charitable Foundation, a registered charity, was set up by Cumberland Building Society in November 1998. Although the Foundation was set up by the Society, they are separate organisations. The Foundation is not part of the Cumberland Group.

The scheme is administered by the Cumbria Community Foundation.

Objectives of Fund

The Cumberland Building Society Charitable Foundation Foundation offers grants to charitable, not-for-profit groups for projects that directly benefit local communities in:

  • Cumbria

  • Dumfriesshire

  • Lancaster

  • Preston

  • Haltwhistle.

The Cumbria Community Foundation administers the grants process.

Value Notes

There are two levels of funding:

  • Strategic grants of up to £25,000 for three years.

  • Community grants of up to £5,000 over one year.

As well as financial assistance, Cumberland Building Society is keen to support funded projects through staff involvement, eg, volunteering.

Match Funding Restrictions

Match funding is not required.

Who Can Apply

Applications will be accepted from registered and non-registered charities, Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs), Community Interest Companies (CICs) limited by guarantee and social enterprises that are engaged in legally charitable work with at least three unrelated trustees or directors.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Be based in Cumbria, Dumfriesshire, Lancaster, Preston or Haltwhistle.

  • Have 12 months or less running costs in unrestricted reserves.

  • Be applying for a project where the majority of people who will benefit are disadvantaged. Or if the applicant is a group working with children, where the majority of the children are disadvantaged or have special needs.

The Cumbria Community Foundation is particularly keen to help grassroots community groups and small-to-medium-sized voluntary organisations. It does not normally make grants to large UK-wide charities, but might do so where there are strong relationships in the local area and the proposal has potential to achieve a substantial impact.


Cumberland Building Society’s operating area of Cumbria, Dumfriesshire, Lancaster, Preston and Haltwhistle


The following are not eligible for funding:

  • Individuals

  • Animal welfare.

  • Contact boxing, except where donor advised.

  • Businesses and personal profit.

  • Deficit funding.

  • General large appeals.

  • Medical research and equipment, except where donor advised.

  • Activities which are normally the responsibility of central or local government.

  • Awards from the same fund in a 12-month period.

  • Projects which duplicate an existing service in an area.

  • Fundraisers and fundraising events.

  • Advancement of religion including buildings solely for religious purposes, except where donor advised.

  • Party political activities.

  • Retrospective funding unless through a disaster appeal.

  • Purchase of vehicles, except where donor advised.

  • Groups or individuals who have not returned their monitoring form.

  • Beautification projects, except where donor advised.

  • National organisations who do not have a local presence within Cumbria.

Eligible Expenditure

The funding can be used for different purposes:

  • Strategic grants are intended to improve or maintain the capacity of organisations promoting the financial wellbeing of people. Funding can be used to provide an opportunity to scale up promising innovations and/or improve existing initiatives.

  • Community Grants are aimed at community organisations that are working to improve the life skills, education, employability and enterprise of disadvantaged people or support vulnerable, older people. These are likely to be one-off grants.

Priority will be given to projects that can demonstrate a clear need and/or demand for their service.

How To Apply

Applications will be presented to the Main Grants Committee, which has the following closing dates in 2020:

  • 2 October 2020

  • 18 December 2020

Applications are reviewed by the Cumbria Community Foundation's Main Grants Committee.

Applications must be made online via the Cumbria Community Foundation website.

Useful documents & links

Useful Links

Addresses and contacts

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

  1. Annalee Holliday
    Cumbria Community Foundation
    Dovenby Hall
    CA13 0PN
    Tel: 01900 825760
    Email: [email protected]

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