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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

£15m Fund Re-opens to Help Colleges in England Improve

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Apprenticeships Skills Minister, Anne Milton, has announced a new round of grants are available through a £15 million fund for colleges in England that need to improve the quality of their provision of education and training.

The Strategic College Improvement Fund (SCIF) was launched in June 2018, following calls from the sector for a peer-to-peer support programme where stronger colleges help weaker ones to improve. It follows a successful pilot phase, which saw fourteen colleges receive grants totalling over £2 million. Outcomes from the pilot included colleges reporting that the fund built awareness of good practice, fostered mutual learning and enabled rapid action to improve quality.

SCIF will support colleges to deliver better outcomes for learners, employers and local communities by enabling them to access resources that they need to improve their provision for students, including the best practice of other colleges, while at the same time mobilising and strengthening improvement in the FE sector.

FE colleges and sixth-form colleges in England are eligible for funding. It is expected that programmes will typically require a grant ranging between £80,000 and £200,000. Colleges must work with a partner college to undertake the programme of work that their application proposes.

Possible eligible activities could include:

  • The coaching of managers and other staff to improve their performance.

  • Instructional programmes to enhance staff skills to support teaching, learning and assessment.

  • More effective use of data to improve student performance.

  • Improved support to students, including better control over student attendance.

  • Enhanced design of the curriculum.

  • Strengthened relationships with employers (for example, via enhanced work-based learning).

  • Monitoring and evaluation of the results of the programme of work.

There is a two-stage application process.

The deadline for stage one applications is 3 December 2018.

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