Cumbria Crack

New Grants Available for Young People

Karen Merrifield and Jael Williams launch the GPLD grant scheme

A new grant scheme to encourage people to think how they might work differently to support young people to live and work in the Lakes and Dales has been launched.

The scheme, announced at the Great Place: Lakes and Dales (GPLD) programme’s recent conference, has grants of up to £10k available open to everyone from young start-ups, businesses and organisations to creative practitioners and students.

The funding is aimed at supporting under 35s in entrepreneurial, creative business, to attract and work with talented and young people. The focus is on exploring training opportunities, ways of working and workspaces, plus raising the profile of rural creativity.

GPLD business consultants Karen Merrifield and Jael Williams launched the scheme, which has two pots of funding.

Branching Out Fund, with up to £5k per application available, focuses on people. It is for cultural practitioners and businesses who wish to expand their knowledge, to allow them to work differently. This could be through attending training courses, employing expert mentors or by travelling to experience different creative practice and work models.

The Acorn Fund has up to £10k awards available to cultural practitioners, organisers, businesses and collaborative projects who want to adapt or change the creative offer in their area so it appeals more to a younger audience.

Karen explained: “This might be by enhancing an existing event or activity, by working differently to promote and grow a suitable event or by trying out an innovative experience for the area by making new collaborations possible.”

Applications are welcome now with the deadline for the first round of submissions on January 25 and the second round March 29 next year.

Jael added: “We want to see ideas which test and explore new initiatives. Innovative models to build on, projects with actions – not just more conversations – which give a greater voice to younger people and encourage collaborative working are on our wish list.

“While priority will be given to younger creatives, that doesn’t mean people in other groups can’t apply.”

GPLD is a programme funded by Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery Fund  until the end of March 2020. It aims to use arts, heritage and culture as the catalyst for economic, social and environmental change against a background of fewer 16 to 34-year olds than the national average choosing to live and work in the area. The new funding scheme was announced at its Creative Connections conference held near Skipton last week.

More information on the seedfunding scheme is available at

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