There is still time for charitable groups across South Lakeland, Furness, Eden, north Lancashire and North Yorkshire to apply for grants from the charitable arm of the company which owns The Westmorland Gazette.

The money is available through the Gannett Foundation, which has already had a significant impact on charities across the area.

The foundation is the charitable arm of Gannett Co Inc, parent company of Newsquest Media Group, whose titles include this newspaper.

It offers support to registered charities with projects which take a creative approach to issues such as neighbourhood improvements, economic development, youth enterprise, sport and healthy living, assistance for disadvantaged or disabled people, care of the elderly, environmental conservation, and educational or cultural enrichment.

At the heart of the grants should be a determination to support projects which bring lasting benefits to communities.

Last year, the Gannett Foundation gave a grant of £10,000 to South Lakeland Carers (now Carer Support South Lakes) towards The Westmorland Gazette’s Give Them A Break campaign, which raised around £28,000 to give people who care for sick or disabled loved-ones a welcome respite break.

The Lake District Calvert Trust, meanwhile, received almost £7,000 to develop an accessible cycling operation to benefit disabled people.

Other grants in recent years included £3,000 to Fix the Fells, a group working to protect the beautiful mountains of the Lake District, towards its Volunteer Lengthsmen 2018 project, which focuses on paths in the South Lakeland region Vanessa Sims, group editor of Newsquest Cumbria, said: “Our newspapers and websites are at the heart of the communities they serve, so being able to support causes in this way is brilliant.

“It supports our mission to make a positive difference.”

The Foundation entertains applications of any size or ambition.

Typically its grants are modest sums for practical projects, but it will consider awards to larger projects which deserve its backing.

It favours schemes that demonstrate good planning, oversight and financial responsibility.

As a prerequisite, the submission of copies of the charity’s most recent financial accounts are required.

In addition, any supporting materials and further details concerning the overall aims of the charity should be included with each submission.

Decisions about funding will be made by trustees based on the evidence submitted.

Each nomination will be judged on its own merits at the absolute discretion of the trustees, whose decision is final.

Applications must be submitted on the approved application form.

A downloadable form is available here Gannett Foundation UK 2019 Application Form.docx

Any bids which do not meet the criteria or fail to follow the scheme’s rules and procedures, which can be found on the application form link, will be rejected.

Applications can only be accepted on the official application form, which should be emailed to to arrive no later than midday on Friday, October 18.

Anyone with queries should contact Alison Sisson by emailing or by calling 01228 612617.