Large Image

£600,000 to benefit good causes across Cumbria

More than £600,000 has been awarded to a range of good causes in Cumbria, tackling issues including rural isolation, loneliness and climate change.

Over 100 grants totalling £603,195 were given out to community organisations and individuals at two recent Cumbria Community Foundation grants committee panels.

The money came from funds set up by local people and businesses including Westmorland Ltd, Fibrus and Thomas Graham & Sons.

93 community groups received a total of £578,626 towards a wide range of projects across the county, and 28 individuals benefited from £24,569 towards the cost of overseas trips, attending sporting competitions, and equipment and course fees.

A group of people standing on a bowling green in bowling outfits
Carlisle Subscription Bowling Club

Carlisle Subscription Bowling Club received £890 from Thomas Graham Grassroots Fund to pay for equipment and improved facilities, with the aim of attracting new members, to reduce social isolation and improve fitness, particularly among the over 55s.

Club Social Secretary David Whitfield said: “The grant funding will encourage and equip people of all ages to come and try bowling free of charge.

“Bowling is an activity with both physical and social benefits that we think will offer the opportunity of meeting people in a relaxed and social setting and hopefully developing a new shared interest in the sport – and if not in bowling, then at least have people think about other outdoor and social sporting activities which they can try and possibly develop an interest in, with the associated benefits to them as individuals.”

Clifton Info Pod

Clifton Community Council was awarded £4,300 from the ENWL Storm Arwen Community Resilience Fund towards the Clifton Info Pod Community Resilience Project.

The Info Pod is a former BT phone box which has been transformed into a community hub, housing a book swap and noticeboards. The funding will pay for the installation of a sustainably powered mobile phone charging point with battery storage system, a battery powered radio, and a community digital information hub with Wi-Fi access point and digital display screen for the sharing of crucial community information.

Becx Carter, of Clifton Community Council, said: “In the past three years alone, Clifton has suffered three major power outages for a number of hours during which the ability to charge mobile phones and access local radio would have been invaluable.

“Clifton, despite its relatively close proximity to Penrith, is a community ‘out on its own’ when bad weather emergencies happen. A sustainable powered mobile phone charging hub for use during these times is vital to ensure that people’s mobile phones can continue to be used for access to critical information, contacting emergency services and staying connected with family.”

Members of 3rd Wigton Squirrels standing with their flagA grant of £1,000 was awarded to 3rd Wigton Sea Scouts from Castles & Coasts Housing Association Community Fund towards the cost of setting up a Squirrel group – the youngest and newest section of the Scouts for those aged four to six.

Leader Lynne Wright said: “3rd Wigton Squirrels opened in early January this year and has been very successful, with an ever-increasing waiting list due to its popularity.

“We hope that as the little ones grow, they will progress to Beavers and then Cubs, Scouts and Explorers. They will learn about community and learn life skills along the way. They will make friends and very importantly have fun along their Scouting journey.

“We have strong community links and have done tree planting, litter picking and the like. They are all local children and we expect to see the benefits of having focused young people out in the community at large as they get older.”

South Lakeland Action on Climate Change (SLACC) was awarded £20,000 from the myLakeland Fund towards the development of new premises for its Waste into Wellbeing project.

The organisation currently runs Kendal Community Food Larder at Stricklandgate House and Kendal People’s Café at South Lakes Foyer. Their aim is to streamline its operation onto one site, building a professional catering kitchen to serve the café, process gluts of produce into pre-prepared meals and offer a dedicated training space for learners.

Stacy Hurley, Development Manager for Waste into Wellbeing, said: “We have been looking for a permanent base, which we’ve secured at the old United Reformed Church in Highgate, Kendal. The myLakeland grant will enable us to install a state-of-the-art catering kitchen. It will also house our community cooking project.”

Annalee Holliday, Head of Grants Practice & Programmes at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “We are grateful to the generosity of our fundholders to enable us to support these worthy organisations that are working hard during these difficult times to meet local needs.”

For more information or to apply for funding, call the grants team on 01900 820827 or email


£400,000 in ‘levelling up’ funding awarded to Cumbrian projects

Cumbria Community Foundation has awarded almost £400,000 to organisations in the county as part of the Government’s ‘levelling up’ programme, which aims to address geographical inequalities across the UK.

Funding was given to provide start-up business support advice and to help move those furthest from the labour market closer to employment by upskilling and providing volunteering opportunities.

Cumbria Community Foundation managed applications to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) and Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) on behalf of Cumberland Council, working together with Cumbria Social Enterprise Partnership.

In total, £389,994 was awarded to 17 projects across Cumberland.

Cumbria Social Enterprise Partnership provided advice and guidance to help develop proposals for four of the projects:

Three volunteers stand in front of the Growing Well minibus
Growing Well Egremont volunteers with the new minibus

Growing Well received £23,036 towards the cost of a minibus service at their new site in Egremont. The organisation offers free targeted and specialist mental health intervention to adults who are experiencing mental ill health by involving them in outdoor activities at their three market gardens in Cumbria.

Growing Well’s Partnerships Manager for North Cumbria, Catherine Bentley, said: “The money we received has enabled us to buy a minibus for our new site in Egremont and help fund driver recruitment and training, also creating jobs in the local community.

“Growing Well offers free transport to site for all its volunteers and by doing so removes barriers to accessing free mental health support for people who live in isolated communities or don’t have their own transport but who badly need our help.”

Five people standing outside the Rebuild Site CIC warehouse
The Rebuild Site CIC

The Rebuild Site CIC was awarded £39,940 towards the expansion of its operations into West Cumbria. The social enterprise was formed in Carlisle with the aim of taking surplus materials from construction sites and giving them to charities and community groups for building, gardening, crafting, and repair projects.

Director Maisie Hunt said: “We are delighted to have been awarded funding through the UKSPF and REPF to support the expansion of The Rebuild Site CIC into Workington.

“The grant will allow us to set up a second site with a community focus, bringing low cost materials and sustainable, practical and DIY skills sharing to the area, and reduce useful materials going to waste.”

Charge My Street received £33,800 to provide two new electric vehicle charge points in St Bees and associated community engagement.

Proud and Diverse Cumbria were awarded £52,262 towards the refurbishment of the Choose Life cafe and community hub in Whitehaven.

Rob Randell, Chair of Cumbria Social Enterprise Partnership, said: “Cumbria Social Enterprise Partnership has been very pleased to work with Cumbria Community Foundation to support some of Cumberland’s social enterprises to apply for and receive grant support via our wider REPF and UKSPF-funded business support programme. This business support which CSEP has provided has helped to identify opportunities for business growth and development, and the additional funding will help accelerate this.”

Other projects to receive funding included:

£16,160 to Newton Rigg Limited, towards the cost of a manager to promote land-based apprenticeships and courses in Cumberland
£22,435 to Cumbria Chamber of Commerce for its Cumberland self-employment business support programme
£37,558 to Age UK Carlisle and Eden towards its Connect and Empower initiative, which boosts digital skills and volunteering prospects for those in their late 50s to early 60s

A group of people taking part in a Sense of Purpose workshop
A Sense of Purpose workshop, run by the Centre for Leadership Performance

Centre for Leadership Performance received £19,500 to run a series of workshops for businesses and soon-to-be retirees to ensure a successful transition to retirement, other employment or volunteering opportunities.

The Sense of Purpose programme aims to increase the life satisfaction and wellbeing of those retiring; enable them to remain economically active for longer; improve their sense of belonging and community through volunteering; and reduce their reliance on health and social care services.

Catherine Eve, Executive Director of Centre for Leadership Performance, said: “Thanks to the funding, we have been able to scale up our Sense of Purpose programme. This means we can reach more retirees, helping them to plan for a fulfilling retirement and connect them to more local services, volunteering and employment opportunities.

“Retirees have a wealth of knowledge, skills and experience; Sense of Purpose enables them to continue to add value to their local community.”

In total, more than £1.3 million has been awarded in Cumberland from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and Rural England Prosperity Fund.

Leader of Cumberland Council, Cllr Mark Fryer, said: “Dozens of businesses and organisations have benefited from the funding and more than £1.3 million has been granted so far. We would like to thank partners for their support and look forward to seeing these funded schemes develop in the future.”

Annalee Holiday, Head of Grants Practice & Programmes at the Foundation, said: “We know how innovative our communities, charitable organisations and social enterprises are in identifying and initiating activities for the benefit of residents. To be able to access revenue and capital costs through this allocation of funding can make the world of difference for such initiatives. This will have a real impact – from individual businesses to entire communities.

“A further round of UKSPF and REPF grant funding will be open for application in the upcoming weeks. Please get in touch if you would like to apply.”

For more information about grant funding available through Cumbria Community Foundation, visit, call the grants team on 01900 820827 or email