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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


Coronavirus Community Support Fund

26 May 2020/Categories: Grants_and_Funding

Emergency grants are available for small to medium-sized charities and social enterprise organisations in England to help them continue to deliver services to people and communities affected by coronavirus/COVID-19.


The £200 million Coronavirus Community Support Fund is part of the Government’s £750 million financial support package for charities and social enterprises during announced on 8 April 2020.

Objectives of Fund

The funding is being administered by the National Lottery Community Fund along with National Lottery funding to support not-for-profit organisations so that they can continue to deliver services to people and communities in England that are affected by COVID-19.

The Fund has two key objectives:

  • To increase community support to vulnerable people affected by the COVID-19 crisis, through the work of civil society organisations.

  • To reduce temporary closures of essential charities and social enterprises, ensuring services for vulnerable people impacted by COVID-19 have the financial resources to operate, and so reduce the burden on public services.

Value Notes

Three kinds of grants are available:

  • Grants from £300 to £10,000.

  • Grants from £10,000 to £100,000.

  • Grants for organisations working in partnership, from £10,000 to £100,000.

The funding is to cover an organisation's spending for up to six months after the award has been granted. Larger awards or longer timeframes will be considered particularly for organisations working across more than one area of England. This will be on a case-by-case basis.

It is anticipated that there will be a high demand for this funding and it will be oversubscribed.

Who Can Apply

Applications will be accepted from the following types of organisations:

  • Voluntary or community organisation

  • Registered charity

  • Constituted group or club

  • Not-for-profit company or Community Interest Company

Priority will be given to small and medium-sized charities.

Organisations from communities such as disabled people and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities are encouraged to apply.

Organisations should involve their community in the design, development and delivery of the activities they are planning.




There are different restrictions depending on the level of funding being requested. Applicants should check the NLCF website for the list of what cannot be funded.

Eligible Expenditure

The funding is for:

  • Activities supporting people and communities affected by COVID-19

  • Helping organisations overcome any acute financial difficulties they are facing because of the pandemic.

Priority will be given to organisations:

  • Supporting people and communities who experience disproportionate challenge and difficulty as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. This category includes, for instance,

    • Organisations supporting older people, disabled people (including people with long-term health conditions) and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities, all of whom are facing specific challenges during the current crisis.

    • Organisations who provide advice and support to those pushed in crisis as a result of the pandemic.

    • Organisations supporting people and their families with end of life care.

  • Providing services and support for vulnerable people, for which there will be increased demand as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. This category includes, for instance,

    • Organisations supporting people and families who face financial hardship as a result of the pandemic.

    • Organisations working to prevent domestic abuse and violence against protected groups, those working with homeless people and those supporting vulnerable children and young people.

    • Organisations taht are dealing with an increased demand for mental health support and support to mitigate the increased challenges of loneliness and isolation.

  • Connecting communities and supporting communities to work together to respond to COVID-19. This category includes:

    • Organisations supporting local community activity, including volunteering, and community organising.

    • Organisations supporting community and sector infrastructure, including public information. There has been increased demand for support with the development of digital, data and technology capabilities.

    • Supporting the building capacity and infrastructure of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) and other marginalised communities to ensure they are in a better position after the initial emergency response.

Government funding will be used to fund organisations in the first two categories. National Lottery funding will be used to fund organisations in the last category.

Small grants of between £300 and £10,000 will cover six months of expenditure and include:

  • Organisation’s running costs

  • Essential items for food banks

  • Small land or refurbishment projects that can be delivered within Government guidelines

  • Equipment

  • One-off events

  • Staff costs

  • Training costs

  • Transport

  • Utilities/running costs

  • Volunteer expenses.

Large grants of between £10,000 and £100,000 will cover six months of expenditure and this includes:

  • Investments in systems

  • Investments in people

  • Investments in infrastructure

  • Dedicated capacity development

  • Staff salaries

  • Project activities

  • Running costs

  • Small-scale refurbishment

  • Equipment

  • Organisational development

  • Contributions to fixed costs.

How To Apply

There are no deadlines. Applications will be assessed in the order in which they are received.

Details of the fast and simple application process can be found on the National Lottery Community Fund website.

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