Cumbrian charities and community groups are being invited to bid for a share of £171,000 which is being made available to good causes by The Cumberland.
The building society has teamed up with Cumbria Community Foundation to set up a special fund to distribute the money.
The Cumberland has also increased the amount it gives to good causes annually to 1.5 per cent of its profits, which this year equates to £171,000.
Chief Executive Des Moore says the increase and decision to work with the Foundation illustrated The Cumberland’s desire to help the communities where it operates.
“We’re keen to make even more of a difference in our communities and working with Cumbria Community Foundation in this way means we will be able to make larger, strategic contributions to projects that have a longer-lasting impact.
“Our purpose is to make a difference to people’s lives and that applies not just to the services we offer, but the part we play in the community.
"Our support for the Active Cumbria’s Cumbria School Games was a great example of the projects we supported last year and clearly made a massive difference to all the children involved.’,” he said.
“As well as the financial contributions we can make to help projects, we are also keen to offer practical help.
"Many of our people get involved and volunteer their time and we hope they can work with charities to offer a brighter, more positive future to those people in our communities who are in real need.” he added.
The Cumberland’s branch managers are being tasked with identifying good causes in their catchment areas who will get a share of £25,000 from the funds and with £13,000 already donated this financial year there will be £133,000 in the Foundation-administered fund.
The panel will be awarding strategic grants of up to £25,000 to improve or maintain the capacity of organisations promoting the health and wellbeing of people.
There will also be a range of smaller community grants of up to £5,000. These will be aimed at improving the life skills, education, employability and enterprise of disadvantaged people or supporting vulnerable, older people.
Annalee Holliday, grants and donor services officer for the Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “We have supported Cumberland Building Society with its charitable giving since 2011.
“We are delighted to continue this relationship on a much larger scale, making a greater impact. The business is committed to being a good neighbour, supporting the communities in which it operates and helping them reach their full potential.
"This funding will help local charitable projects do what they do best – tackle the disadvantage that they see on their doorstep.”
Anyone interested in applying for funding needs to do so by September 27th ahead of the fund’s first panel meeting on October 29th.