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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


Places Called Home Fund - Application deadline: 14/07/2021

08 July 2021/Categories: Grants_and_Funding

Grants are available for small, local voluntary and community groups and organisations and schools to help improve community shared spaces and run activities that focus on sustainable living in the UK.

Fund Information

Funding body:
Maximum value:
£ 5,000
Application deadline:


The Places Called Home is a £1.5 million grants fund provided by the National Lottery Community Fund in partnership with Ikea Limited, the world’s largest home furnishing retailer.

Objectives of Fund

This funding programme explores the idea that communities can become as important to people as their homes. It aims to inspire and help people get more involved in their local community as a positive, homely place to be and meet other people.

The aim is to build on the energy, creativity and practices of communities coming together during the COVID-19 pandemic, through local activities and the renewal of community spaces.

The funding can be used for equipment or materials to improve the community's shared spaces and run activities that focus on sustainable living.

Value Notes

There is a total of £1.5 million for this fund. A total of 300 awards will be made for this pilot partnership programme.

Grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 are available.

The funding must be spent within nine months of the grant being awarded.

Who Can Apply

Applications will be accepted from the following organisations that are based and working in the UK:

  • Voluntary and community organisations
  • Constituted groups or clubs
  • Registered charities
  • Charitable incorporated organisations (CIO)
  • Not-for-profit companies
  • Community interest companies (CIC)
  • Schools (as long as the project benefits and involves the communities around the school)
  • Statutory bodies (including local authorities, town, parish and community council)

Priority will be given to groups who

  • Have not received funding from the NLCF before
  • Do not have a current NLCF award
  • Are smaller organisations or groups with an annual turnover of under £100,000.

Other organisations can apply but should consider the priorities listed above.


The following are not eligible for funding:

  • Individuals
  • Sole traders
  • Organisations that are aimed at generating profits primarily for private distribution
  • Organisations based outside the UK
  • One individual or organisation applying on behalf of another
  • People under the age of 18.
  • School projects that:
    • improve school facilities or equipment that are not available for the wider community to use
    • help with staff training
    • are part of the school curriculum
    • involve activities the school should already be providing (like a project teaching literacy during school hours)
    • take place during teaching times (although before and after school might be okay).
  • Multiple applications from the same group or organisation.
  • Retrospective costs.
  • Statutory activities.

A full list of the restrictions for this fund can be found on the NLCF website on the Places Called Home page.

Eligible Expenditure

The funding is intended for a range of not-for-profit organisations that can meet at least two of the following criteria:

  • Build on the relationships created during the COVID-19 pandemic to increase community activity and the number of people taking part.
  • Encourage people to work together, creating opportunities for communities to live in a sustainable and healthy way.
  • Raise awareness amongst the public of the importance of connected households, neighbourhoods and resilient communities.
  • Develop a new idea, activity or way to come together that has emerged in response to the pandemic.
  • Revive or redesign community and common spaces to encourage shared community activities.

Projects from schools or an organisation working in a school need to strengthen the community outside of the school too. It should benefit and involve more than just teachers, pupils and parents of pupils.

The funding can pay for activities or items that will help to revive the community. These could be equipment or materials to renew the community’s shared spaces or activities that focus on sustainable living.

The funding can be used for:

  • Events and activity costs (though not celebratory events)
  • Equipment and materials
  • Refurbishment costs
  • Staff costs
  • Training costs
  • Transport
  • Utilities/running costs related to the idea
  • Volunteer expenses
  • Translation costs (for example, into other languages like Welsh)
  • Small land or building projects (certain conditions apply, and organisations should check the NLCF website.



How To Apply

The scheme opened for applications on 30 June 2021. It will close upon either the receipt of 1,500 applications or 14 July 2021, whichever comes first. Applicants should hear in around three months whether or not they have been successful.

The online application form and guidelines can be found on the National Lottery Community Fund website.

Useful documents & links

Useful Links

Addresses and contacts

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

  1. UK Portfolio Team
    National Lottery Community Fund
    Head Office
    1 Plough Place
    EC4A 1DE
    Tel: 028 9568 0143
    Email: [email protected]

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