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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

Wellcome Trust - Public Engagement Fund

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Funding for organisations, companies and individuals in any sector who have the ability to engage the general public with health research, throughout the UK, Ireland and low to middle-income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, East Asia and the Pacific.

Fund Information

Funding body:

Wellcome Trust

Maximum value:

£ 3,000,000

Application deadline:



The Public Engagement Fund is administered by The Wellcome Trust. The Wellcome Trust is an international charitable foundation that works to improve public health through enabling excellent ideas to thrive, supporting over 14,000 people across more than 70 countries. The Trust supports scientists and researchers to tackle the big issues such as vaccine development, behavioural projects and social science.

The Public Engagement Fund acts as a replacement for The Wellcome Trust's Society, People, Large Arts, Small Arts, Development, Co-production, Capital and International Engagement Awards.

Objectives of Fund

The purpose of this fund is to enable individuals and organisations, working in any field in the UK, Republic of Ireland, low-income and middle-income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and East Asia and Pacific, to use creative approaches in engaging the public with health research.

Value Notes

Applicants may apply for funding worth between £25,000 and £3 million. The duration of this funding may be up to three years in length. Applicants should note that costs must be justifiable and appropriate for the proposed activities.

Proposals between £25,000 and £100,000

Most of the received proposals will be within this category. In order to be competitive, the proposal should be both ambitious and innovative.

Projects between £100,000 and £250,000

Only a few grants may be supported at this level for each year. Proposals should aim to bring about significant change and, where possible, should be backed by evidence, such as a pilot with positive results.

Projects over £250,000

This level of grant is awarded only occasionally for projects that have the potential to bring about major, sustainable change, such as capital projects, ambitious rollouts, or work that could influence the perspectives and actions of a large audience or group of participants.

Match Funding Restrictions

Match funding is not required but additional funding from other sources may make the proposal more competitive. Such funding could show that the project is sustainable and/or that it is supported by stakeholders who are important to the success of the project.

Who Can Apply

The Fund is open to any individual and organisation (commercial and not-for-profit) for projects focusing on health, although this does not need to be the organisation’s main focus or core activity.

Eligible organisations can be working in the following areas:

  • The arts.

  • Culture.

  • Entertainment media.

  • Museums and heritage.

  • Leisure, sport and tourism.

  • Education.

  • Research.

  • Informal learning.

  • The community, charity and public sectors.

  • Other fields.

Project teams must have the right expertise and skill sets to develop and deliver their proposed projects and should include at least one subject expert, such as a researcher in a science or health-related discipline, and/or a health professional. The expert can lead the project, be a collaborator or take on an advisory role.


UK, Republic of Ireland, low- or middle-income countries within Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, East Asia or the Pacific.


The following are not eligible for funding:

  • Delivering health interventions with primarily therapeutic purposes.

  • Running or promoting health campaigns.

  • Providing health information.

  • Telling people what to do rather than enabling them to make their own decisions.

  • Academic research (unless it is integral to the project’s development, eg action research, or evaluation within the project).

  • Engagement activities that are essential to carrying out a health research project/programme in an ethical way, eg consulting with community advisory panels or communicating research findings to research participants.

  • Costs incurred before the proposed activity starts.

  • Salary costs for staff who are already funded by their organisation.

  • Academic courses such as Master's degrees or PhDs, and other tuition fees.

  • Organisational overheads (with the exception of small charitable and not-for-profit organisations with an annual gross income of less than £1 million in the last financial year or those based within Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, or East Asia and Pacific).

Eligible Expenditure

Funding is available for projects employing creative approaches to engage the public and that support the Wellcome Trust's public engagement goals, which are:

  • Empower people by helping them to access, use, respond to, and/or participate in health research and innovation.

  • Improve health research by making it more people-centred, to better understand people’s experiences and draw on that knowledge.

  • Help people to value and think critically about science, health research, innovation and the role these play in society.

Projects must also do one of the following:

  • Innovate or try new ways of working.

  • Develop an existing activity, where the applicant has evidence that it has been successful, either by exploring ways to make it sustainable or by scaling it up in a cost-effective manner.

  • Learn from a successful engagement activity delivered by the applicant or others, and replicate it with a new audience (eg a different demographic or location).

The Trust is particularly interested in work that promotes diversity and inclusion, and engages people and communities that are affected by social and economic disadvantage. This work can sit within a wider project or be its main focus.

The funding can be used for the following:

  • Salaries and staff costs (if they do not already have a salary for the period of the grant).

  • Fees for other people who are crucial to the proposal, for example, consultants and artists.

  • Costs of temporary replacement staff to enable a person who already has a salary to allocate time to work on the project.

  • Costs of promoting access or increasing diversity and inclusion, eg the costs for any community partners to help

  • Consumables or materials.

  • Equipment.

  • Production costs, which could include marketing.

  • Development, including building and refurbishment.

  • Travel and subsistence relevant to the proposal.

  • Evaluation and dissemination of work.

  • Contingency (up to 5% of the total amount being requested).

  • Organisational overheads for small charitable and not-for-profit organisation with an annual gross income of less than £1 million in the last financial year and organisations that are based in low and middle-income countries within the regions of Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, East Asia and the Pacific.

  • Other costs.

How To Apply

There are two separate application processes depending on how much is being requested.

Proposals for grants of £25,000 to £250,000

Applications are considered four times per year and the next deadline for applications is 26 March 2019 (5pm).

Applications should be submitted online through the Wellcome Trust Grant Tracker (WTGT). Decisions for this round should be communicated by early April 2019. Applicants should allow at least one month between receiving the Trust's decision and starting their project.

Proposals for grants of more than £250,000

Applicants should initially email an expression of interest to [email protected]

This should include:

  • Applicant name (and job title if relevant) as primary contact.

  • Name of organisation.

  • The amount required, over what period of time.

  • Why the team is the right one to deliver the project, including the expert(s) the team plans to work with (in a maximum of 200 words).

  • What the team wants to achieve, where, and how it fits with what the Trust is looking for (in a maximum of 400 words).

Expressions of interest can be submitted at any time and are considered throughout the year.

Useful documents & links

Useful Links

Addresses and contacts

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

  1. Public Engagement Fund
    Wellcome Trust
    Gibbs Building
    215 Euston Road
    NW1 2BE
    Tel: 020 7611 5757
    Email: [email protected]

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