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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.

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COVID-19 Crisis Funding for Social Enterprises in England

14 July 2020/Categories: Grants_and_Funding

Social enterprises that are supporting people at high health risk from COVID-19, and those supporting people facing increased social and economic challenges as a result of COVID-19 are invited to apply for a new Fund, worth £18.7 million.

The funding can be used for two types of support:

  • Funding for activities supporting people and communities affected by COVID-19.
  • Help organisations overcome any acute financial difficulties they are facing as result of the crisis.

Organisations must have been incorporated for at least a year and have had an annual income of between £25,000 and £1.5 million before COVID-19 to be eligible. Applications are particularly welcomed from organisations that are led by people from BAME backgrounds, people with disabilities, from the LGBTQ+ community or by people with lived experience of the issue they are seeking to resolve.

Grants of between £10,000 and £300,000 are available. However, as funding is very limited, most grants will be in the range of £10,000 to £50,000. The grants can be used to cover costs such as:

  • Staff salaries.

  • Project activities.

  • Running costs.

  • Small-scale refurbishment.

  • Items of equipment.

  • Organisational development.

  • Contributions to fixed costs.

  • Investments in systems.

  • Investments in people.

  • Investments in infrastructure.

  • Dedicated capacity development.

There will be three application rounds to ensure that smaller social enterprises who may take longer to get their finances together have a fair chance to bid.

Applications for the first round can be submitted until 1pm on 20 July 2020.

How To Apply

In order to manage the flow of applications, funding will be released in three rounds.

The application windows are:

  • Round 1 is open from 1pm on 13 July 2020 until 1pm on 20 July 2020.

  • Round 2 is open from 1pm on 13 August 2020 until 1pm on 20 August 2020.

  • Round 3 is open from 1pm on 10 September 2020 until 1pm on 17 September 2020.

If the Fund is heavily oversubscribed, which is likely, application rounds may close early. Organisations are advised to apply early to ensure their application is considered.

The aim is to inform organisations of a decision on their application within three to four weeks, but sometimes it may take longer.

Guidance notes and the online application form are available on the website of the Social Enterprise Support Fund.


Useful documents & links

Useful Links


Addresses and contacts

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

  1. Enquiries
    Social Enterprise Support Fund
    Email: [email protected]

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