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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


Voice4Change England COVID-19 Partnership Fund

22 October 2020/Categories: Grants_and_Funding

Grants are available for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) community groups and organisations, working to deliver coronavirus/COVID-19 related services in England.

Fund Information

Funding body:

Voice4Change England

Maximum value:

£ 10,000

Application deadline:



The COVID-19 Partnership Fund was launched by Voice4Change England, a national membership organisation advocating for the Black and Minority Ethnic voluntary and community sector (BMS VCS).

Objectives of Fund

The funding is intended for projects that help tackle the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on BAME communities.

Value Notes

Grants of between £5,000 and £10,000 are available.

Who Can Apply

The Fund is open to BAME-led community groups and organisations, working primarily with BAME communities.

In this context, BAME includes white minority communities other than white British eg, Polish, Lithuanian etc., as well as communities that are Black, Asian, Chinese, African and Middle Eastern.

Organisations must be not-for-profit, or with a clearly ethical main purpose. The following types of organisations are eligible:

  • Registered, exempt, and excepted charities.

  • Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs).

  • Community Interest Companies (CICs).

  • Social Enterprises which have the Social Enterprise Mark.

  • Co-operatives.

  • Community Benefit Societies (formerly Industrial and Provident Societies).

  • Faith community organisations (if the activity is not deemed to be

  • proselytising).

  • Non-constituted or recently established organisations that can be endorsed by a statutory body, established charity, parochial church council or parish/town council.

  • Partnerships or organisations working collaboratively.

The focus of the Fund is on supporting smaller organisations. This means that for any organisation with an annual income of over £200,000 to succeed, it would need to be an exceptional and extraordinary project.




The following are not eligible for funding:

  • Individuals.

  • Purchase of vehicles.

  • Holiday schemes.

  • Events, parties, trips and initiatives based upon mass gatherings.

  • Work which does not directly benefit people living in England.

  • Work normally funded from statutory sources.

  • Organisational structures not listed above, or projects which are not charitable in focus.

  • Sponsored events, fundraising activities.

  • Improvements to land/buildings that are not open to the general public at convenient hours.

  • Projects promoting political activities, lobbying for causes, or projects whose main purpose is to promote religion (as distinct from religious organisations).

  • Retrospective costs.

Eligible Expenditure

The funding is for enabling BAME organisations to deal with emerging issues in the community, as a result of the continuing threat of COVID-19, and the need for self-isolation, and potential for further exacerbation of loneliness and isolation.

The Fund has three priority areas:

  • Delivering COVID-19 services. Organisations can apply for help with current costs, if their funding has been affected by the pandemic.

  • Delivering mental health and wellbeing services, particularly to those who have been further impacted by COVID-19.

  • Delivering sports activities to tackle BAME inequalities and help with the impact of COVID-19, including wellbeing initiatives.

The following are eligible for funding (this list is not exhaustive):

  • Foodbanks and organisations working to combat hardship caused by the pandemic including child hunger.

  • Providing services to address domestic abuse and violence in the home.

  • Providing services to those who are homeless.

  • Tackling the impacts of financial hardship.

  • Enabling people to keep warm, and independent in their homes.

  • Enabling people to access a nutritious meal by connecting them to services providing groceries, and/or ready-made meals.

  • Civil society organisations engaged in mental health, sports and wellbeing.

  • Enabling and encouraging people to use and access technology to keep them connected to the outside world.

  • Reaching out to isolated people by telephone, and befriending.

  • Enabling home education for children and young people.

The grants can be used to cover the following costs:

  • Running costs for organisations, including volunteer expenses, staff costs, and transport (providing the organisation is focusing their attention on providing support to both existing, and any potential new beneficiaries).

  • Small capital costs, providing the capital item will address the priorities of the Fund, and is linked to keeping older people or those in vulnerable circumstances connected to the outside world.

How To Apply

The deadline for applications is 5pm on 3 November 2020.

Further information and application forms are available on the website of Voice4Change England.

Applications should be submitted via email to [email protected]

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