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Grants and External Funding

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grants and external funding


Open 4 Business Portal

Open 4 business logo image

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


COVID-19 Recovery Loans for UK SMEs Extended to Next Summer

09 November 2021/Categories: Grants_and_Funding

A government-backed loan scheme providing additional finance to COVID-hit businesses has been extended by six months.

The Recovery Loan Scheme supports access to finance for UK businesses as they grow and recover from the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic. The scheme is administered by the British Business Bank, with loans available through a network of accredited commercial lenders. 

The following types of finance are currently available:

  • Term loans and overdrafts between £25,001 and £10 million per business.
  • Invoice finance and asset finance between £1,000 and £10 million per business.

The actual amount offered, and the terms, are at the discretion of participating lenders. The Government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender. The borrower is always 100% liable for the debt.

Businesses can apply for a loan if their business is trading in the UK. Applicants will need to show that their business is viable or would be viable were it not for the coronavirus pandemic; has been impacted by the pandemic; and is not in collective insolvency proceedings.

Business that received support under earlier COVID-19 guaranteed loan schemes are still eligible to access finance under this scheme if they meet all other eligibility criteria.

At Autumn Budget 2021, the Chancellor announced that the scheme would be extended until 30 June 2022 (it was originally due to close at the end of 2021).

From 1 January 2022, the following changes will come into force:

  • The scheme will only be open to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
  • The maximum amount of finance available will be £2 million per business.
  • The guarantee coverage that the Government will provide to lenders will be reduced to 70%.

These changes will apply to all offers made from 1 January 2022.

Applications can be made at any time until the scheme closes on 30 June 2022.


How To Apply

The scheme launched on 6 April 2021. Loans will be available through a network of accredited lenders. At Autumn Budget 2021, the Chancellor announced that the Recovery Loan Scheme would be extended until 30 June 2022.

Loans are available through a network of accredited lenders, listed on the British Business Bank’s website.

Useful documents & links

Addresses and contacts

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

  1. The British Business Bank
    Steel City House
    West Street
    S1 2GQ

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