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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

Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund Enters New Phase

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Funding of £1.25 million is available in 2020 for UK museums and galleries to support work that will make their existing collections more empowering, relevant and dynamic to people.

Provided by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and administered by the Museums Association (MA), the Collections Fund supports projects that demonstrate the inspiring and engaging potential of collections to deliver social impact for people and communities.

Following a review in 2019, the Fund has entered a new phase and will now be offering two types of grant:

  • Collections Innovation and Engagement Grants - £20,000-£90,000 for up to three years for outstanding ideas that make a strong link between the collection, the people that the organisation wants to work with, and the activities and context of the organisation. The focus for this grant is on projects with a strong level of ambition, social impact, innovation or risk taking.

  • Collections Strategy and Development Grants - £90,000-£250,000 for up to five years for initiatives that use collections to make a difference to people’s lives and to contribute significantly to the long-term strategy or vision of the organisation or partnership (eg to transform the way an organisation works with its collection and communities, or to solve a problem with collections that allows other work to happen or influence an area of practice across the sector). The MA will offer additional coaching where its skills and network can add benefit.

To be eligible, projects must:

  • Work with an existing collection or collections to improve understanding of them and increase their use.

  • Through that collection's work, involve, inspire and have value for people, communities and audiences.

  • Contribute to established plans or strategy for the applying organisation or partnership, that cover at least five years (Collections Strategy and Development Grant applications only).

Applications are accepted from museums and galleries in the UK (typically accredited organisations or partnerships of museums and other organisations).

The deadlines for expressions of interest are 16 March 2020 - Collections Innovation and Engagement Grants and 11 May 2020 - Collections Strategy and Development Grants.

Useful Links

Addresses and contacts

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

  1. Sally Colvin
    Programmes Manager
    Museums Association
    42 Clerkenwell Close
    EC1R 0AZ
    Tel: 020 7566 7851
    Email: [email protected]

  2. Sarah Briggs
    Collections Development Officer
    Museums Association
    42 Clerkenwell Close
    EC1R 0AZ
    Tel: 020 7566 7834
    Email: [email protected]

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