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Tuesday , June , 18 2024
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Welcome to Art's and Culture

Whatever the new ‘normal’ is there’s never been a more poignant and exciting time for arts and culture. Like very thirsty people we’ve all been dreaming of slaking our creative thirst. There’s real positive energy just bursting to get out. Be part of these exciting times, there are already many ways to get involved (some listed below) but there’s always room for new ideas.

So sharpen those pens, dust off the brushes, or have a gargle and get your voice ready. Here’s to it. Scroll down for more information or use our interactive map and lists of exciting museums and monuments.

UK Shared Prosperity Fund
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UK Shared Prosperity Fund

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UK Shared Prosperity Fund

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) is part of the Government’s Levelling Up agenda. It provides £2.6 billion of new funding for local investment by March 2025. All areas of the UK will receive an allocation from the Fund. The fund replaces the current EU structural funds, which will have finished by the end of 2023.

The primary goal of the UKSPF is to help build pride in place and to help to increase life chances across the UK.

Carlisle has been allocated a funding allocation of £4,104,659 over three years.

Investment Plan

We submitted an investment plan to Government on 31 August 2022 to secure our funding allocation. The funding is allocated annually over the next three years up to March 2025, with the majority of funding available in the final year of the programme. This investment plan was approved by Government on 5 December 2022

Carlisle City worked closely with Allerdale Borough Council and Copeland Borough Council as we will together form Cumberland Council from 1 April 2023. We ensured that the priorities of our three investment plans are closely aligned to enable delivery by the new authority.

During preparation of our investment plans we consulted with a variety of partners and stakeholders through focus group sessions and an expression of interest survey. A Local Partnership Group has also been formed made up of representatives from strategic organisations from across the local area. Our investment plans were shaped by feedback from this consultation and engagement, an assessment of the ambitions, needs and opportunities of the area and the priorities of our Council Plan.

Funding available for projects in 2022/23

As part of our investment plan, we selected a number of interventions and the outputs and outcomes we aim to achieve through this funding. The interventions Carlisle have selected for support in 2022/23 are:

Community and Place

  • E1: Funding for improvements to town centres and high streets, including better accessibility for disabled people, including capital spend and running costs.
  • E4: Enhanced support for existing cultural, historic and heritage institutions that make up the local cultural heritage offer.
  • E6: Support for local arts, cultural and creative activities.
  • E8: Funding for the development and promotion of wider campaigns which encourage people to visit and explore the local area.
  • E12: Investment in community engagement schemes to support community involvement in decision making in local regeneration.
  • E14: Funding to support relevant feasibility studies.

Supporting Local Businesses

  • E16: Investment in open markets and improvements to town centre retail and service sector infrastructure, with wrap around support for small businesses.
  • E17: Funding for the development and promotion (both trade and consumer) of the visitor economy, such as local attractions, trails, tours and tourism products more generally.
  • E30: Business support measures to drive employment growth, particularly in areas of higher unemployment.

Due to limited funds available and the requirement to deliver at pace, Year 1 funding will be targeted at a limited number of specific projects for E1, E4 E8, E12, E16, E17 and E30. 

Year One Open Call for Projects

For Year 1 only, Carlisle City Council initiated an open call for projects in December 2022 under the following Interventions: E6 and E14.  This closed on Wednesday 21 December 2022 and we are no longer able to accept applications to this fund.

As expected, the applications we received exceeded the limited funds available and the total ask for both open calls was more than double the budgeted allocation. Therefore, applications needed to be carefully reviewed using a prioritisation tool and a report was taken to a panel for discussion before a decision was made.

The panel, comprising the Corporate Director of Economic Development, the Portfolio Holder for Economy, Enterprise and Housing and the Portfolio Holder for Culture, Heritage and Leisure, met on Tuesday 24 January. The decision from this panel was then fed back to the Cumberland UKSPF Local Partnership Group at a meeting on Friday 27 January. Applicants have been notified on the outcome of their application.

The final decision on grant awards as follows:

Under the E6 Intervention: Support for Arts/Cultural Events

•         City of Lights (Science) - £15,000

•         Prism Arts: Arts without barriers - £10,000

•         Rocket Theatre Group – Big Dance Carlisle - £10,000

•         Blank Wall Assassins Street Art Trail - £38,000

Under the E14 Intervention: to receive support for Feasibility Studies

•         14MU Heritage project

•         Prism Arts Future Home

•         Multicultural Cumbria - International Heritage and Culture Hub

It should be noted that under E14, no direct award of grant monies will be made. Successful projects will receive support from a supplier appointed by Carlisle City Council.


For further information regarding UK Shared Prosperity Fund, please refer to the following guidance:

If you have any questions you can contact us by emailing [email protected]





Theme picker

Useful Information and links

A Strategic Framework for Culture in Carlisle was initiated in 2019 by a small steering group of Carlisle City Council, Prism Arts, Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery Trust and the University of Cumbria.  The consultation was designed to not only engage existing cultural specialists but to encourage a diverse range of voices representing diversity, business, education, health, individual and freelance artists and creative practitioners to contribute to shaping the future arts and cultural agenda.

Discover Carlisle has lots of ideas for things to see and do in and around England’s biggest city


"A virtual hub for all things multicultural in Cumbria. Sharing our similarities and celebrating our differences"

 Multicultural Cumbria

    Cumbria Arts & Culture Network 

 Cumbria CVS

      Prism Arts

   Eden Arts


   Carlisle Contemporary Arts 


There are a number of historical monument in and around Carlisle.  Please see the downloadable Monuments and Memorial Guide below.

Public art

Professional street art is growing in the city as show cased in this Cumbria Guide article.  


Landmark Street Art








The Source Collective  


Theatre and Drama


  Rocket Theatre