Communities in Westmorland boosted by funding

15th December 2020

Charitable projects in parts of Eden and South Lakeland are being encouraged to apply for funding.

The Holehird Trust Fund, managed by Cumbria Community Foundation, offers grants for voluntary and community organisations which benefit residents in the former county of Westmorland.

Since 2005, the fund has supported almost 500 projects, awarding £600,000 to help support activities for local communities. The maximum grant is usually around £2,000, with the average being £1,250.

Dan Fox

The Morland Festival of Light, organised by The Studio Morland CIC, takes place in February next year over four nights. The project recently received £1,000 to create a light art trail around the gardens of Morland House, with local residents being encouraged to create their own light art window display in their homes to help illuminate the whole village.

Kate Brundrett, Director of The Studio Morland, said: “We are delighted with the funds raised so far to make this festival happen. With the light trail, fantastic art installations, sound interventions and community art works, we think it will bring a much-needed reason to celebrate as we come out of the darkness of winter with the addition of the COVID restrictions, giving us all a boost and hope in our community spirit. We hope it will bring delight to everyone’s faces and that it might become the start of an annual Festival of Light for Morland, which would be a lovely heart-warming event to look forward to each year.”

The Coronavirus pandemic has greatly accelerated a need for a community building in the heart of Stainton, near Kendal, which is the only parish in South Lakeland without a community building.

Stainton Chapel, a 17th Century chapel is being turned into a community centre, now known as the Stainton Institute, thanks to a committed group of local residents. The charity recently received £3,500 towards the final phase of the renovation project.

Geoff Wilson, Chairman, said: “We are extremely grateful to receive funding through Cumbria Community Foundation from the Holehird Trust Fund.

“The chapel needs to be restored, both for the community and for prosperity. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have a community centre, not just for now but for future generations to enjoy. The grant will be used to complete the internal and external painting and preservation treatment work.”

Ellen Clements, Senior Grant Officer at Cumbria Community Foundation said: “We know some of the challenges that rural communities are facing as they recover from lockdown and the restrictions imposed by the pandemic.

“Over the last 15 years, we have made grants to support community transport, older people’s groups, health and disability groups, community volunteers, sports sessions, homelessness, mental health, and family wellbeing, to name a few.

“The Holehird Trust Fund can address what is really important to local people and we’re delighted to administer this funding on behalf of Cumbria County Council.”

If you are a voluntary or community group in Cumbria, supporting residents in the former county of Westmorland, there is still time to apply for a grant before the next deadline. Priority will be given to projects which support one of the following: elderly people, disabled people or children and young people up to the age of 18.

Applications for funding must be received by 10th February 2021 for a decision on 10th March 2021. For more information on the Holehird Trust Fund please contact:

Ellen Clements on 01900 825760 or email