GDF Community Partnership South Copeland

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Community Investment Funding

What is Community Investment Funding?

Community Investment Funding of up to £1 million has been made available for the South Copeland GDF Community Partnership as it participates in the siting process for a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF).

The grants can be used to fund projects, schemes or initiatives that:

  • Provide economic opportunities
  • Enhance the natural and built environment, or
  • Improve community wellbeing.

Within these themes, the Community Investment Funding Panel are prioritising projects that are sustainable and leave a lasting legacy in the community. Please contact the Community Investment Team for further guidance.

Grants can be used for projects that benefit the communities within the South Copeland Community Partnership Search Area.

The Search Area includes the electoral divisions of Millom and Millom Without.

Who can apply?

We’re open to applications from community groups, public sector organisations and businesses that want to do something to benefit the community. And if you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry, we’re here to help, so just get in touch with us.

What help is available?

We encourage you to contact us before you apply. We want you to have the best chance of putting in a successful application.

We can talk to you over the phone, meet you in person (if circumstances allow) or arrange an online meeting.

We can help you ensure your bid is as thorough and well thought through as possible, with all the supporting evidence you need.

Contact our Grants Manager:

How does your organisation apply?

All applications will be through our online grants management system. We recommend you contact the Team for an informal discussion about your project, funding and any application needs before applying.

As part of the pre-application support organisations have the opportunity to submit a 1 page summary of their project for feedback from the Community Investment Panel. If this is something you would be interested in please get in touch:

Apply for funding

We’re here to help you make a difference.

Pre application support and advice – Contact us


Apply for funding


Data Protection and GDPR

Your information will be processed in accordance with UK Data Protection laws and we have robust systems in place to keep your information safe. Your information will be stored on our secure systems and shared with relevant individuals where necessary to process your query.

Please see our full privacy notice here.

Projects that have benefitted

  • Cumbria Community Foundation

    Cumbria Community Foundation was granted £49,812 to support the Foundation’s Winter Warmth Fund in South Copeland, providing individual grants to those over 60 who receive a state pension and/or pension credit or struggle to maintain a basic acceptable standard of living during the winter due to the cost of heating their home and the restrictions of cold weather. Copeland Age and Advice Service (CAAS) are helping to deliver the programme.

  • Millom STEM Club

    Millom STEM Club received £2,000 to fund Haverigg Environmental Science project including the planting of wild woodland and pond plants and building a dipping platform. The wildlife will be accessible to all local primary schools, and will encourage a greater diversity of wildlife to inhabit the area.

  • Friends of Eskdale School

    Friends of Eskdale School received £31,849 for the installation of the installation of Cumbria’s first school biodome and planters, soil, seeds, seedlings and nutrients for the first year. The installation of the biodome will benefit schoolchildren with their learning and the wider community for many years to come.

  • Millom Baptist Church

    Millom Baptist Church has been given £40,000 to replace the wooden flooring in the community hall and remove and replace the old stairs, storage areas, and toilet. The community hall can now be enjoyed by locals for many years to come.

  • Inspira

    Inspira received £13,614 to fund a school engagement programme in South Copeland offering students direct access to a range of employers and information on employment opportunities. This vital support will help to inform, inspire and shape young people’s future career choices.

Guidance and support

We’re here to make your grant application as smooth as possible – and often it starts with a chat about your group and your needs.

You might be an established organisation, or you might be a group of people who want to improve things in your area but you’ve no idea where to start.

So, start here. You’ll find lots of useful information.

And if you would just like to chat through your plans, don’t hesitate to contact the team. In fact, we encourage you to chat to us before you put in application.

Talk to us now so that we can help you ensure your bid is as thorough and well thought through as possible, with all the supporting evidence you need. That way, when you’re ready to put in a grant application, you’re much more likely to be successful.

Is your organisation eligible to apply?

Properly constituted private, public and third sector organisations may apply for funding. Organisations may also apply in partnership but would require one organisation to act as lead organisation for the partnership and ‘accountable body’ for the funding.

If you are an unconstituted organisation it might be possible for another organisation to apply for funding on your behalf

Individuals may not apply for funding for their own personal use.

How can the funding be used?

Here are some examples:

Economic Development
For example, employment opportunities, job creation, skills development, education or training, promotion of local enterprise, long-term economic development or economic diversification

Natural or Built Environment
Including cultural and natural heritage, especially where economic benefits, for example through tourism, can be demonstrated

Community Wellbeing
For example, improvements to community facilities, enhancement of the quality of life or health and well-being of the community

How much can you apply for?

You can apply for a small, medium or large grant:

Small grants – under £10,000

Medium grants – above £10,000 to £50,000

Large grants – above £50,000

We always recommend you contact the team to discuss your grant request and funding needs before applying.

How long do you have to spend the grant?

This would be covered in your Grant Acceptance Agreement. It would be specific to each project and relate to the information you have provided on your application form about your expected project lifetime.  All eligible expenditure must be incurred during the lifetime of the project.

General exclusions

Ineligible expenditure includes:

  • Paid-for lobbying, which means using grant funds to fund lobbying (via an external firm or in-house staff) in order to undertake activities intended to influence or attempt to influence Parliament, Government or political activity; or attempting to influence legislative or regulatory action;
  • Using grant funds to directly enable one part of government to challenge another on topics unrelated to the agreed purpose of the grant;
  • Using grant funding to petition for additional funding;
  • Expenses such as for entertaining, specifically aimed at exerting undue influence to change government policy;
  • Input VAT reclaimable by the grant recipient from HMRC; and
  • Payments for activities of a party political or exclusively religious nature.

Other examples of expenditure, which might be prohibited, include the following:

  • Contributions in kind;
  • Interest payments or service charge payments for finance leases;
  • Gifts, Hospitality, prizes;
  • Statutory fines, criminal fines or penalties;
  • Payments for works or activities which the grant recipient, or any member of their Partnership has a statutory duty to undertake, or that are fully funded by other sources;
  • Bad debts to related parties; and
  • Payments for unfair dismissal or other compensation.

When will you know the outcome of your application?

Applications for funding will be assessed by the South Copeland Community Investment Panel every eight weeks. You will then be notified of the outcome and any next steps.

Further Information