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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


Nesta's New Prize Supports the Vulnerable to Access Post-COVID Jobs and Finance

24 September 2020/Categories: Grants_and_Funding

Nesta has identified what it describes as an 'urgent need' to support people at risk of losing their livelihoods and financial security in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. The Rapid Recovery Challenge has been launched to stimulate innovation in the fields of employment, skills and financial services. The programme will support tools and services that improve access to jobs and money for people across the UK, focusing on those hardest hit by the economic shock resulting from COVID-19.

The Challenge will support solutions that positively impact those in low paid or insecure roles and young people, through two streams:

  • Job Recovery Stream - supporting solutions that connect younger workers or those in (or who have recently lost) low-paid or insecure work into open jobs that match their skill sets.

  • Financial Recovery Stream - supporting solutions that help younger workers or those in (or who have recently lost) low-paid or insecure work to access financial assistance more easily, manage their cash flow or access affordable, responsible credit.

There is a total prize fund of £2.8 million available, with funds being released in increments, as follows:

  • In May 2021, six finalists (three in each stream) will each receive £150,000.

  • In September 2021, two winners (one in each stream) will each receive £200,000.

  • In December 2020, 12 semi-finalists (six in each stream) will each receive £125,000.

Registered UK entities, including businesses, charities, community interest companies, community groups and public bodies may apply. Applicants should (at minimum) have a well-functioning prototype of their solution that has been piloted with at least 1,000 users. 

The deadline for applications is 26 October 2020 (12:00 GMT).

How To Apply

Applications are made online at the programme website. More details can be accessed here

Those who have questions can get in touch with Nesta by emailing [email protected]



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