After dishing out more than £28 million to businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic, the council is set to launch a new grants scheme.

Carlisle City Council has previously rolled out three government grant schemes – the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant, Small Business Grant and Local Authority Discretionary Grant Schemes – with about £28 million handed out to the city's businesses.

And now, as an additional support to the city centre through its recovery phase, a new grants programme to encourage up-and-coming businesses to invest in the area is set to be launched.

Councillor Paul Nedved, portfolio holder for Economy, Enterprise and Housing, said: “We want to encourage businesses to invest in our city centre.

"Businesses and organisations need the confidence to invest in the city centre again.

"This small business grants programme for new and growing city centre businesses will encourage businesses to invest in our city centre, while helping to reduce vacancy rates and maintain the vitality and viability of the high street.”

The fund aims to encourage new starter and growing local businesses to occupy vacant units.

The grant, of up to £5,000, would be used is to support capital works, such as shop frontage improvements, signage and equipment necessary for the business to operate.

The grant criteria will be on the Carlisle City Council website next month.

For more details before then, call 01228 817200, or email