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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

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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

Condition Improvement Fund 2020-21

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This annual fund provides capital funding for academies, sixth-form colleges and non-diocesan voluntary aided (VA) schools in England to transform facilities, improve school buildings and create more good school places. The funding can help expand classrooms, upgrade facilities such as sports halls or science labs, and address issues with the general wear and tear of school buildings.

The Government has announced that all applications will be scored against new criteria for this year, with points added or deducted from the overall score. For unsuccessful bids, applicants will still have the option of applying for Urgent Capital Support to ensure their buildings are safe for pupils and staff.

The strengthened criteria will incentivise academies and trusts to improve finances and governance.

  • Bids are assessed on a point-based criteria, and applicants will get

  • A four-point deduction if they pay two or more salaries in excess of £100,000 or one salary over £150,000, and have failed to take appropriate action in response to our high pay challenge.

  • An extra point for applicants that have signed-up to the most recent government funding agreement;

  • Deductions of up to four points for applicants that have not submitted a financial improvement plan following a visit from a School Resource Management Adviser; and

  • Further scrutiny for successful projects worth more than £1 million.

The Government is making more than £400 million available for 2020-21. The level of grant funding has not been set.

An initial proposal can be submitted for works expected to cost more than £20,000 (for primary and special schools) and £50,000 (for Secondary, all through and sixth form colleges) for initial approval prior to further development and final approval at a later stage. The maximum project cost for all schools is £4 million.

In addition to grants, two types of loans are available to applicants for all of part of the project costs:

CIF Loans are offered at Public Works Loan Board rates of interest, the same rate that local authorities can access to invest in their schools, while the Salix loan is interest free.

The deadline for all applications is 13 December 2019 (12noon).

How To Apply

The new guidelines are available on the Gov.UK website.

A new CIF portal is to be used for the application process.

The schedule for 2020 is as follows:

  • New applicants must register to use the portal - 12 noon, 29 November 2019

  • All applicants to submit applications - 12 noon, 13 December 2019

  • Deadline for expansion project applicants to submit a significant change approval request (if applicable) to the Regional Schools Commissioner - 12 noon, 13 December 2019.

  • Applicants notified of outcome - Spring 2020.

Enquiries may be submitted using the EFA enquiry form.

Useful documents & links

Scheme - Application Form

Useful Links

Addresses and contacts

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

  1. Education Funding Agency (EFA)
    Education Funding Agency
    Tel: 0370 000 2288
    Fax: 01928 794 248

Source: GRANTfinder an idox solution 

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