Cumbria Crack

First deadline approaching for GPLD grant applications

Karen Merrifield

The first deadline is approaching to apply for up to £10,000 for initiatives to work differently to support young people to live and work in the Lakes and Dales.

The first round of applications for awards from the Great Place: Lakes and Dales (GPLD) programme’s Branching Out and Acorn Funds closes at 12 noon on Friday January 25.

The funding aims to support entrepreneurial, creative business to attract and work with talented and young people. It is open to everyone from young start-ups, businesses and organisations to creative practitioners and students. The focus is on exploring training opportunities, ways of working and workspaces, plus raising the profile of rural creativity.

The scheme has two pots of funding and grant managers are flexible and open to suggestions, urging anyone interested to get in touch to discuss ideas.

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 is for awards of up to £10k, available to cultural practitioners, organisers, businesses and collaborative projects which want to adapt or change the creative offer in their area so it appeals more to a younger audience.

Karen Merrifield, business consultant with GPLD, 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 that makes new collaborations possible.”

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

Business consultant Jael Williams added: “We want to see ideas which test and explore new initiatives. Ideally we are looking for innovative models to build on, projects with actions – not just more conversations and projects which give a greater voice to younger people and encourage collaborative working.

“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 in November.

More information on the seedfunding scheme is available at

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