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Grants and External Funding

Please use the menu below to access information on grants and external funding news and resources. 


Open 4 Business Portal

Open 4 business logo image

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

Government Announces Additional Funding for England’s Business Districts

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The Business Improvement District (BID) Loan Fund has been established to assist with the development of new BIDs in town and city centres in England. BIDs are business-led partnerships which are created to deliver additional services and upgrade the environment for local businesses.

The Fund will support the development of new BIDs, in recognition that some prospective BIDs can encounter prohibitive start-up costs during their development phase.

Loans are repaid from levy receipts and, as repayments are made, further tranches of loans can be made available. Due to this recycling nature of funds, the provider has just announced the next tranche of funding has opened and applications are being encouraged.

The Fund has an overall budget of £500,000 and loans of between £10,000 and £50,000 are available, with £33,000 being the average offered to individual areas. The funds are to be used exclusively in the development of new BID proposals, which allow communities to come together to deliver additional local services and upgrade commercial areas.

High Streets Minister, Jake Berry MP, said:

"BIDs have a proven track record of upgrading commercial areas to enable business owners and entrepreneurs in our town centres and high streets to thrive. Our Loan Fund is designed to provide them with the means to drive regeneration forward and meet local needs.”

Professor Christopher Turner, British Bids Chief Executive said:

"Business Improvement Districts have been shown to be hugely successful in regenerating town centres. There are now over 300 BIDs across the UK and the Loan Fund that the government set up has been vital in helping key BIDs to emerge."

Expressions of Interest for the eleventh tranche of the Fund are being invited until 5pm on Friday 8 March 2019.


Eligible Expenditure

The Loan fund can be used for all of the five stages of BID Development: Feasibility;Planning; Local Authority; Campaign; and Establishment -or just for latter stages of more advanced applications.

How To Apply

Expressions of interest for the Eleventh Tranche of the Loan Fund opened on 24 January 2019.

The deadline for Expressions of Interest to be submitted is 5pm on Friday 8 March 2019. Completed full applications must be submitted by 5pm on Friday 10 May 2019.

For more information, interested parties are advised to visit the BIDs Loan Fund page and the British BIDs website.

To register interest and receive an application form, interested parties should contact [email protected]

Useful links

British BIDs website

Business Improvement Districts (BID) Loan Fund

GOV.UK - BID Loan Fund Information

Information on Business Improvement Districts

Addresses and contacts

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

British BIDs
The Master’s House
19 Lower Brook Street
Tel: 0845 112 0118
E-Mail: [email protected]


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