Fresh Ideas Fund launched in Cumbria – up to £50K grants available

1st June 2016

The Fresh Ideas Fund is a grant programme developed by Northern Rock Foundation to enable voluntary, community and social enterprises in Cumbria to explore new opportunities to help them grow in size, improve long term sustainability and increase their impact, through grants of up to £50,000.

Cumbria Community Foundation is administering the Fresh Ideas Fund on behalf of The Northstar Foundation, launched by Northstar Ventures after Northern Rock passed all funds over to the venture capital firm to create a new regional foundation.

The funding is intended to have long-term impact and benefit in the region, both to support the sustainability of the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector and to have a positive and long-term impact on beneficiaries. The money can be spent on feasibility studies, expert advice and start-up costs. Successful applicants will also receive support from mentors from Northstar Ventures.

Michelle Cooper, Investment Manager at Northstar Ventures, said: “I am looking forward to increasing Northstar’s network even further. Proposals that have previously secured funding were extremely diverse and include e-learning projects, a community farm and vintage retail outlets.”

Whilst there are no restrictions on the size or turnover of an applicant organisation it is expected that they will have the capacity to deliver the proposed projects. Applicants that are looking at new and innovative ways of generating income in order to achieve greater sustainability and impact are invited to apply.

Nigel Pattison, Grants and Donor Services Officer at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “We’re thrilled to be working with Northstar Venture. Their funding will help local organisations make a positive impact on both the area and its residents, while at the same time helping them to become more sustainable.”

The first deadline for applications is Friday 22nd July. The second round will be launched in December 2016.

Full details can be found on here or contact Nigel Pattison on 01900 825760 or email