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Grants and External Funding

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Open 4 Business Portal

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Carlisle City Council is providing local businesses with free access to its local business support and grant portal provided by Open4Business. This is tailored for the Carlisle area and includes local, regional and national schemes.

Business can also search for funding relevant to their size and sector. To use the portal, you will first need to register with Open4Business.


Grants and Funding


Community Business ReBoost Fund

30 November 2020/Categories: Grants_and_Funding

Grant funding and matched equity investment are available for existing community business, with charitable purpose, that are based in England to prepare a community share offer to support their recovery from coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.


The Community Business ReBoost Fund is provided by Power to Change and run in partnership with the Community Shares Unit (CSU), a joint initiative between Co-operatives UK and Locality. ReBoost is part of Community Business Renewal Initiative, a £5 million support package.

Objectives of Fund

Community Shares ReBoost fund aims to support community businesses to raise community shares capital that can support their recovery, pivot or expand the business in response to Covid-19.

The ReBoost fund provides grant funding and matched equity investment. ReBoost will support smaller, and quick interventions focused on raising working capital for community businesses via community shares offers between November 2020 and April 2021.

Additional business development support may also be provided where required, and will be prioritised to help community businesses operating in deprived neighbourhoods, or those led by and supporting BAME communities and those led by and supporting disabled people.

Value Notes

The following support is available:

  • Development grants – between £3,000 and £5,000 to prepare a recovery community share offe and be awarded the Community Shares Standard Mark. The grant should be approximately 10% of the community share offer target.

  • Match equity investment – typically matching pound for pound up to £25,000 invested by the ReBoost fund. The investment is expected to support at least 12 share offers between November 2020 and April 2021.

Match Funding Restrictions

Full details of match funding can be found in the guidance notes.

Who Can Apply

The programme is aimed at existing community businesses in England. Power to Change defines community business as having the following four key features:

  • Locally rooted.

  • Trading for the benefit of the local community

  • Broad community impact.

To be eligible to issue a community share offer, applicants must be incorporated as one of the following:

  • Community benefit society.

  • Co-operative society.

  • Charitable community benefit society.




The following are not eligible:

  • Groups outside of England.

  • Proposals that promote the advancement of religion or that are party political in nature.

Eligible Expenditure

Support is available to community businesses for projects that have a charitable purpose and are for the public benefit.

To be eligible, applicants must identify which of these charitable purposes are addressed by their community business:

  • The prevention or relief of poverty.

  • The advancement of education.

  • The advancement of health or the saving of lives.

  • The advancement of citizenship or community development.

  • The advancement of the arts, culture, heritage or science.

  • The advancement of environmental protection or improvement.

  • The relief of those in need, by reason of youth, age, ill-heath, disability, financial hardship or other disadvantage.

  • The relief of unemployment.

  • The promotion of urban and rural regeneration.

  • The promotion of social inclusion.

Projects must demonstrate that they share at least one of the programme's following seven core impact areas:

  • Reduce social isolation.

  • Improve health and wellbeing.

  • Increase employability.

  • Create better access to basic services.

  • Improve local environment.

  • Enable greater community cohesion.

  • Foster greater community pride and empowerment.

Full details of what costs will be covered by the funding is in the guidance notes.

How To Apply

The guidance notes are available on the Community Shares Booster website.

Before applying applicants are advised to complete the online Step-by-Step tool, which can be accessed on the Community Shares website. This will help them determine which of the three programme pathways is most appropriate and provides guidance on preparing to launch a community share offer.

There is a two-stage application process:

  • The first stage is to complete the online expression of interest (EOI). This can be done at any time. Applicants will initially receive a phone call to discuss their EOI and pathway choice. EOIs will then be assessed and applicants will be notified of the result within two weeks.

  • Those who are successful will be invited to fill out a full online application.

The application deadlines are 2 December 2020, 6 January 2021, and 3 February 2021.

Useful Links

Addresses and contacts

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

  1. Community Shares Unit
    Tel: 0161 214 1762
    Email: [email protected]


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