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Funding available for community projects supporting architectural merit in Cumbria

Community projects of architectural merit in Cumbria are being encouraged to apply for financial support from a fund set up in memory of a much-love father.

The Geoffrey Blake Architectural Heritage Fund, managed by Cumbria Community Foundation, was set up by a daughter in loving memory of her father, who had a long-standing interest in historical architecture.

Community projects run by voluntary or charitable groups that support architectural merit and enhance people’s experience and understanding of the built environment are welcome to apply.

Projects must have full access to the public and have a clear benefit to the community.

The Foundation is eager to hear from projects that include the renovation of community features and landmarks, e.g. wells, crosses and memorials, the renovation of features of public buildings or the creation of new work including sculptures and other built features.

The first grant was awarded to Fitz Park Charitable Trust for the refurbishment of the exterior of PUPS Shelter in Keswick.

The shelter was built in 1939 by the Pushing Young People’’s Society (PUPS).  Their aim was to provide activities and engagement for young people by carrying out charitable work and raising money to build the shelter in Fitz Park near to the War Memorial.

A spokesperson for the Fitz Park Charitable Trust said:“Fitz Park Trust is grateful for the support of Cumbria Community Foundation as it will ensure that the shelter  is restored as close to the original in design and purpose as possible.

“The grant will have a huge benefit in restoring this heritage asset in Keswick. It will take the shelter from a run-down structure, which is now looking very tired, and improve the overall street scene in an area, making this area a more attractive place to encourage people to meet up as well as place for quiet reflection.”

Since 1999, the Foundation has been bringing people who love Cumbria together to make the county stronger, so Cumbria can thrive and meet the challenges communities face and achieve their full potential.

Annalee Holliday, Grants & Programmes Officer at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “This fund provides valuable funds for projects of architectural merit in Cumbria. It is important that people can experience local heritage and it’s great that we have a fund that supports the renovation of community features and landmarks.”

For more information or to apply visit, or call Annalee Holliday, Senior Grants Officer on 01900 820827 or email

Funding available for groups in Brampton

Applications are being encouraged from groups and organisations in around the parish of Brampton.

The William Milburn Charitable Trust, administered by Cumbria Community Foundation, offers grants between £500 and £5,000 for projects addressing local needs and creating opportunities that make a real difference to people in need and the wider community. Larger grants may be considered depending on the activity.

Priority is given to projects working in rural communities and supporting disadvantaged children and young people.

Raft building

Carlisle Carers provides a range of services to support and enhance the lives of unpaid carers of all ages throughout North Cumbria.

Some young carers in and around Brampton can only get support during term time as many out of school clubs take place in Carlisle. This often leaves them feeling isolated and alone. Carlisle Carers received £800 to take a group of young carers on summer trip to Talkin Tarn for some much needed respite time.

Let the race begin

Kay McGregor, Operations Manager, said: “It is so important for young carers to have time to themselves as they will have spent the summer holidays caring for a family, and not being able to get out and about like their friends.

“Social isolation during school holidays can be a big issue and this kind of activity goes a long way to combatting this and helping young people experience some freedom and pleasure. It was also challenging, with some of them achieving things they had never experienced before and being part of a team.

“We could never have offered this opportunity to our young carers without the generous donation from the William Milburn Trust and we are very grateful for the support.”

Ellen Clements, Grants & Donor Services Officer at Cumbria Community Foundation said: “We are proud to manage funds like the William Milburn Charitable Trust as they are vital in supporting some of our most rural communities. It gives people a real opportunity to improve the places where they live.”

The closing date for applications is 5th October 2018 to be reviewed by the panel on 6th November 2018. To apply visit our Grants page or for more information contact Ellen Clements on 01900 825760 or email

Unity Festival brings Carlisle communities together to celebrate diversity

A community festival celebrating diversity in Carlisle was given a £2,000 cash boost from the Abbeyfield Society Community First Fund.

Carlisle Unity Festival, organised by AWAZ Cumbria and their partners, One World, was aimed at building unity among the many diverse groups in the city while tackling prejudice and promoting understanding.
Charities that work with ethnic communities and minority groups showcased their services and the range of activities on offer within the community. Stallholders included Carlisle Refugee Action Group, Carlisle Mencap, the Terrence Higgins Trust, Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Carlisle Lions Club.

awaz-cumbriaLocal people were able to share and learn new skills and had the opportunity to experience a wide variety of food and  music, and enjoy performing arts from around the world, in Carlisle City Centre.

Cumbria is one of the least diverse counties in the UK, but this is beginning to change. Carlisle is becoming increasingly multi-cultural and diverse, yet there is a lack of opportunities for communities to come together and celebrate their cultures.

Minority and marginalised groups living in the city face issues such as racism and islamophobia which has been documented in recent hate crime reporting by Cumbria Constabulary. Aftab Khan, Development Officer at AWAZ Cumbria, hopes the event has increased awareness and understanding of the barriers and issues these groups face.

He said: “There is a need more than ever to demonstrate that people and communities are united in their spirit and action against any kind of intolerance, hate and xenophobia in Carlisle.”

“Carlisle’s first Unity Festival brought together a range of community groups and organisations to stand up to prejudice and show their community spirit in a time of great uncertainty.”

“The festival helped build community networks and people were able to learn more about the issues affecting minority or marginalised groups and how to tackle hate crime. The positive messages delivered on the day will have boosted those who are concerned about racism and xenophobia in the city.”

Cumbria Young People’s Fund (Individuals)

The fund was created through an anonymous legacy gift of £1.2m – the donor was a retired teacher who cared passionately about helping young people. It aims to support applications which will make a difference to the lives of disadvantaged young people in Cumbria by supporting study or vocational training.

How much can you apply for?
• Maximum grant will normally be £2,000 and we expect to make no more than three grants but we would expect most awards to be in the region of £500 to £750.

Who can apply?
• Individuals aged 14-22 years living in Cumbria with priority given to young people from Barrow and Carlisle.
• Applicants will need to provide evidence of excellence in their chosen fields and/or evidence of how you will/are raising aspirations for young people in West Cumbria

Please refer to Cumbria Young People’s Fund (Individuals) Guidelines for full criteria before downloading the individual application form.


Hunter Davies Fund

The donor advised fund has been set up by Cumbrian author and journalist Hunter Davies to help young people further their education into University. It also provides funding support to the Lakeland Book of the Year Awards.

The bursaries will support Cumbrian students who attend either Trinity School in Carlisle or Cockermouth School and students are to be nominated by their Head Teacher.

Before considering a nomination to this fund please read the Hunter Davies Fund Guidelines.

This is not an open access fund and is not open to direct applications.

Violet Laidlaw Fund

Funded by a bequest from the estate of Violet Laidlaw, formerly of Scotby and Carlisle. Violet studied home economics and the nursing of sick children. Her philosophy was to be considerate to others, always finding the good points in people and never passing judgement. From a young age she showed a concern for the welfare of the homeless and less fortunate giving support whenever needed and through her gift this will continue.

How much can you apply for?
• Maximum grant will normally be £500 over one year
• Individuals will normally only qualify for one award from the Trust

Who can apply?
• Charitable groups helping homeless people in Carlisle City Council area
• Individuals in need of support

Please refer to Violet Laidlaw Fund Guidelines for full criteria before applying.

Cultural Fund

The Fund is the result of an initiative by Miss Mary Burkett and friends to help individuals in the arts. Its aim is to encourage individuals of excellence in their chosen field of the arts. Individuals are prioritised due to the comparative lack of funding available to them.

How much can you apply for?
• There is no maximum or minimum grant level, but the average grant is expected to be £500

Who can apply?
• Individuals resident in the county of Cumbria.

Please refer to Cultural Fund Guidelines for full criteria before downloading the individual application forms.