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Major new community project to celebrate the legacy of Carlisle United

In what is an important anniversary year for Carlisle United – 50 years since achieving promotion to the First Division for the 1974-75 season – the club has received a £95,000 grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for a project that will see them work with Tullie, Carlisle United Community Sports Trust, University of Cumbria and Cumberland Council to celebrate and preserve the club’s legacy.

The project, entitled “Be Just and Fear Not”: Celebrating our Club and Supporting our Community aims to better document and share the club's history and expand its reach to new and diverse audiences through a programme of community engagement.

"Be Just and Fear Not”, made possible thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, will bring a huge programme of activity including school workshops, community wellbeing activities, youth programming and a museum exhibition. A co-curated exhibition celebrating the history of the club will open at Tullie in July with content development support coming from Film & Television students at the University of Cumbria's Institute of Education, Arts and Society. This will be the first exhibition at the museum once it reopens after redevelopment work, which is also being supported by the Heritage Fund. From October, a pop-up version of the exhibition will tour to local venues and a permanent display of objects will be exhibited at Brunton Park.

As part of the project, the club will be doing a major review of their on-site archive that will form the basis of the exhibition. Over the years Carlisle United fans have contributed a wealth of memorabilia including photographs, programmes, newspaper cuttings, medals, video recordings and football shirts. But these items need to be properly catalogued and made accessible to the community for now and for generations to come.

The partnership will recruit a Project Curator to support the programme. Their role will be to:

  • carry out an archive audit.
  • devise a catalogue system.
  • digitise content.
  • procure appropriate storage materials.
  • relocate material to a safe and stable environment within the grounds.

The Project Curator and the team will also upskill volunteers to continue to care for and grow the archive after the project is complete. Further support will come from Cumbria Archives and the National Football Museum, the latter providing guidance on developing and maintaining a football heritage archive. This post will be advertised by the partnership in the very near future. The partners will also be doing a call out for volunteers to join the Carlisle United Collective – a group of volunteers who will help the team shape the development of the project. For more details about this exciting opportunity please contact us via email at

Be Just and Fear Not 2024


Nigel Clibbens, CEO Carlisle United Football Club: “This is going to be a fantastic project. The club is at the heart of the community and the life of so many people over many, many generations. It is a very special and important institution and sharing and preserving its history and heritage will be very special.”

Helen Featherstone, Director, England, North at The National Lottery Heritage Fund said: “Thanks to National Lottery players, we are delighted to support this project that will work with local people and partners to explore and share Carlisle Football Club’s rich history, preserving the city’s sporting heritage for years to come. We know that heritage can play a huge role in bringing people together, creating a sense of pride in local communities, and this project is sure to do just that.”

Anna Smalley, Head of Collections and Engagement at Tullie: 'We are incredibly proud to be part of this project – the Club is a real institution within the city and the community, and we are excited to be able to help tell their unique story.’

Councillor Anne Quilter, Cumberland Council’s Executive Member for Vibrant and Health Places, said: “Our area has a rich sporting history and we are delighted to support this showcase of one of our most successful clubs. The programme to accompany the exhibition will include something for all ages to enjoy and take part in.”

Funding and Partners

This project is funded by the generous support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Carlisle United Football Club, Cumberland Council and Tullie.


Notes to editors


Amy Nixon, Media, Carlisle United

T: 0330 094 5930 | M: 07731 602694 | E:

Emily Burnham, Marketing & Communications Manager, Tullie

T: 01228 618742 | M: 07384 817960 | E:

James Riddick, Marketing & Communications Coordinator, Tullie

T: 01228 618748 | M: 07884 510390 | E:

Sarah Irving, Cumberland Council Communications


James Tose, Community Manager, Carlisle United Community Sports Trust

T: 0330 094 5930 | M: 07395 791924 | E:

Notes to Editors:

Carlisle United Football Club are based at Brunton Park in Carlisle and are currently competing in Sky Bet League One.

For more information visit the club website.

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund 

As the largest dedicated funder of the UK’s heritage, The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s vision is for heritage to be valued, cared for and sustained for everyone, now and in the future as set out in our strategic plan, Heritage 2033

Over the next ten years, we aim to invest £3.6billion raised for good causes by National Lottery players to bring about benefits for people, places and the natural environment.  

We help protect, transform and share the things from the past that people care about, from popular museums and historic places, our natural environment and fragile species, to the languages and cultural traditions that celebrate who we are. 

We are passionate about heritage and committed to driving innovation and collaboration to make a positive difference to people’s lives today, while leaving a lasting legacy for future generations to enjoy.  

Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund 


Set in the heart of Carlisle’s historic quarter on the border of England and Scotland the award-winning museum and gallery is one of the region’s most popular cultural attractions. Tullie has one of the largest purpose-built art galleries in the north of England and hosts exhibitions of regional, national and international importance.   

Tullie is the lead member of the Cumbria Museum Consortium, a Band 3 National Portfolio Organisation for Arts Council England who, along with Cumberland Council, is one of the organisations core funders. As well as enabling the museum to care for their varied and unique collections, this funding supports an ambitious programme of exhibitions and activity delivered with and for a wide range of people in the community.   

Tullie has been inspiring visitors for more than 125 years and in 2021 celebrated its 10th year as an independent charitable trust.  In 2022, it was named Large Visitor Attraction of the Year at the Cumbria Tourism Awards.

Cumberland Council is a unitary council in Cumbria.

They provide all council services previously provided by Allerdale Borough Council, Carlisle City Council, Copeland Borough Council and Cumbria County Council.

Its Cumberland Plan sets out its vision and values.

Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram for updates on services.

University of Cumbria 

We are the University of Cumbria, for and from Cumbria and our localities, rooted in and serving our communities and powered by our three greatest assets - people, place, and partnership. We were established in Cumbria for a reason, and this drives us: to increase higher education participation in our county, to address higher-level skills and sector needs and most importantly to positively impact on the lives and livelihoods of individuals across our communities.

As a modern university based in the real world, we aim to prepare our graduates for work and life. Central to this aim is the promotion of an environment that encourages our students to use their skills, talent and intellect in delivering social, cultural and economic and social benefit.

We are proud to have been recognised as a silver-rated university by the Teaching Excellence Framework 2023 (TEF) for the quality of our teaching and student outcomes. And we are amongst the best in the UK for graduate employment and top in the North West with 97% of our students getting a job or going on to further study within 15 months of graduating (HESA 2023).

And as we look forward, we will continue to transform lives and livelihoods through learning, applied research, and practice – for now and for future generations. Find out more at