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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


Government Enhances COVID-19 Future Fund to Benefit More Firms

02 July 2020/Categories: Grants_and_Funding

The Government's Future Fund, which is backing high-growth, innovative firms through COVID-19, has had its eligibility criteria broadened. Now, more start-ups and innovative firms are able to apply for investment through the programme.

Participants in accelerator programmes are often required to set up a non-UK parent company in order to participate, which means some did not meet the Future Fund criteria of having a UK parent company when it opened for applications in May. Changes to the scheme's eligibility criteria mean that UK companies that have participated in highly selective accelerator programmes and were required, as part of that programme, to have parent companies outside of the UK will now be able to apply for investment.

Through the scheme, early-stage, high-growth businesses from a diverse range of sectors can apply for a convertible loan of between £125,000 and £5 million to help them through the coronavirus outbreak.

Initially, £250 million was made available by the Government, to be matched by private investors, with the Treasury making clear the amount could be increased if needed. Due to the popularity of the Fund, more funding has been made available, with around £320 million having already been invested.

The scheme changes cover accelerator alumni only and the Government says it remains committed to using the Future Fund to support economic activity in the UK. Companies will still be required to meet the 'substantive economic presence' tests (that half or more employees are UK-based and/or half or more revenues are from UK sales).

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said:

'Our start-ups and innovative firms are one of our great economic strengths. As we begin to bounce back from coronavirus, they will help drive our recovery and create new jobs.

'This change means that those start-ups who have strived to be the very best, and taken opportunities to grow their business, will be able to benefit from our world-leading Future Fund.'

The scheme is open for applications until the end of September 2020.

Eligible Expenditure

The bridge funding shall be used solely for working capital purposes and shall not be used by the company to repay any borrowings, make any dividends or bonus payments to staff, management, shareholders or consultants or, in respect of the Government loan, pay any advisory or placement fees or bonuses to external advisers.

How To Apply

The scheme is open for applications until the end of September 2020.

The application process is investor-led. This means an investor, or lead investor of a group of investors, applies in connection with an eligible company. Companies are still able to register their interest - see the Companies page for information.

Applications are made through the British Business Bank.

Useful documents & links

Scheme - Guidance Document

Useful Links

Addresses and contacts

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

  1. Enquiries
    The British Business Bank
    Level 37
    25 Canada Square
    E14 5LQ
    Email: [email protected]


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