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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

Arts Council England - Creative People and Places Fund 2020-2024

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Grants for consortia in parts of England where people’s involvement in arts and culture is in the bottom third of engagement to develop a programme of cultural activity and engagement over four years but with a 10-year vision. The funding is for new places across England.

Fund Information

Funding body:

Arts Council England

Maximum value:

£ 2,000,000

Application deadline:



Arts Council England has launched this funding programme for 2020-2024.

Objectives of Fund

Arts Council England’s vision for Creative People and Places is to support the public in shaping local arts and cultural provision and, in so doing, to increase attendance and participation in excellent art and culture. This investment will encourage long-term collaborations between local communities, arts organisations, museums, libraries, amateur groups, the voluntary sector and others. It aims to support new and different approaches to developing cultural programmes that deliver excellent experiences, genuinely engage people in shaping provision provision and involve a variety of partners.

The new fund will focus investment in parts of England where people’s involvement in arts and culture is in the bottom third of engagement according to the Active Lives Survey, and which are not currently covered by a Creative People and Places programme.

The funding is intended for consortia in eligible places to develop a programme of cultural activity and engagement over four years but with a 10-year vision.

The central aims of the fund are:

  • Communities are empowered to take the lead in shaping local cultural provision.

  • More people from the identified places of least engagement experience, create and are inspired by arts and culture, and become regularly engaged as audiences or participants

  • The aspiration for excellence is central to the activity we will support – this covers both excellence of art and culture and excellence of the process of engaging communities.

  • To learn from past experiences (including learning from the current Creative People and Places programme) and create an environment where the arts and cultural sector can experiment with innovative approaches to engaging communities.

  • To learn more about how to establish sustainable arts and cultural opportunities and make this learning freely available across the cultural sector.

  • To encourage partnerships across the subsidised, amateur, voluntary, and commercial sectors.

  • Through these projects, Arts Council England will demonstrate the power of arts and culture to enrich the lives of individuals and make positive changes in communities.

  • Activity will be radically different from what has happened before in the eligible places prior to the Creative People and Places programme.

  • To maximise opportunities for collaborations across arts organisations, museums and libraries where possible.

  • Where possible and appropriate, to maximise digital opportunities for cultural engagement and empowering the public.

Value Notes

The total budget available for Round 2 round is £11.6 million.

There are two levels of funding:

  • Between £1 million and £2 million over four years for new programmes which are not part of a Creative People and Places expansion programme.

  • Between £750,000 and £1.75 million over four years for places which would be covered by a current Creative People and Places expansion.

Match Funding Restrictions

It is expected that at least 25% of total project costs should come from other sources. This can include:

  • Ticket sales and other earned income over the period of the project.

  • Funding from public organisations such as local authorities.

  • Cash donations from individuals or companies.

  • Grants from other lottery distributors.

  • Donations of equipment or materials subject to suitable valuations.

  • Grants from trusts and foundations.

  • Public appeals and fundraising events.

  • A contribution from the organisation itself.

  • In-kind support.

Who Can Apply

There are two ways to apply:

  • To establish an entirely new consortium in eligible places not currently covered by a Creative People and Places programme.

  • Expansion programmes: where it makes geographical sense, and reflects community wishes, it is possible for existing Creative People and Places programmes to apply to expand their consortium and their activity to cover new activity in new eligible areas.

Applications must be made by a lead applicant on behalf of a consortium for eligible places only.

Lead organisations of existing Creative People and Places programmes can make an application to this programme as an expansion programme only.

Projects are led by consortia and must include community groups and/or grass-roots organisations as well as cultural organisations such as museums, libraries or arts organisations. Other partners might include private-sector organisations, clubs, housing associations or universities.


66 new places in England. The list of eligible places is based on the bottom 33% of places according to the Active Lives Survey and are parts of the country where involvement in the arts is significantly below the national average.


A full list of restrictions will be provided during the application process.

Existing Creative People and Places cannot apply to this fund for additional activity in their current area. However, they can apply for an expansion to cover one of the new eligible areas.

Eligible Expenditure

Activities must be delivered over four years and take place between 1 November 2020 and 31 October 2024.

Activity cannot go beyond four years, and all activities must end no later than 31 October 2024.

Proposal should include/demonstrate the following (the complete list can be found in the guidelines):

  • Evidence of the aims of Creative People and Places in their approach (eg community empowerment in decision making, co-curation, co-commissioning).

  • More people engaging in arts and culture (as audiences and participants).

  • Excellence and quality of arts and cultural experiences and the process of engaging the public.

  • Learning and the contribution of any insights made to the wider cultural sector.

  • Effective governance and management.

  • The percentage of the annual turnover this grant will represent (financial statements for the previous financial year).

  • Effective partnership working.

  • Plans for ensuring a strong community voice and community empowerment in relation to decision making.

  • Plans to ensure the proposed programme of activity is inclusive of the communities’ needs and as reflective of the local demographics as possible.

  • Plans to work with the existing arts and cultural infrastructure in the applicant’s place or within reach of their place.

  • Details of proposed activity that are believed to help the wider cultural sector to gain new insight into approaches to widening audiences and cultural engagement.

  • Outcomes, including the potential impact of the proposed activity for the people in the eligible place/s.

  • Plans for monitoring and evaluating impact.

  • Plans to share learning with other Creative People and Places grant recipients and the wider arts and cultural sector.

How To Apply

The Fund will open for applications on 16 January (noon) and close on 26 March 2020 (noon).

The guidelines are available on the Arts Council England website.

There is a three-step application process:

  • Groups must register on Grantium in order to start the application process.

  • Arts Council England must approve the applicant profile, and this can take up to 10 working days.

  • Then applicants must book a 'mandatory conversation' with an Arts Council England Relationship Manager to discuss their proposal in detail.

Useful documents & links

Useful Links

Addresses and contacts

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

  1. Customer Services team
    Arts Council England
    The Hive
    49 Lever Street
    M1 1FN
    Tel: 0161 934 4317
    Email: [email protected]

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