Bank of Imagination


Imagination is key, turn your visionary ideas into reality.

  • We encourage innovation and experimentation, challenging you to dream impossibilities and then co-create the impossible with your partners and recipients.
  • We work with organisations and academics who want to improve life for communities.
  • We do all this through our unique combination of expertise, skills and funding.
  • We use an approach that is practical and collaborative to push the frontiers of what we think might be possible.

Our Values

We are innovative: We are always looking at the world with fresh eyes to challenge how everything works and uncover new ways of doing things.

We make it happen: We know complicated issues can’t be solved by discussion alone. We have a priority to experiment with our best ideas, not just discuss them.

We act with integrity: We take care of each other, and the people we work with, working together for the common good. We not only have a responsibility to each other, but also those we work with and the communities whose lives are affected by our work.

We continue learning: We research and learn from others, thoroughly testing out our ideas and taking time to reflect and alter what we are doing if it’s not working.

We are collaborative: We want to imagine and create a new world – but we can’t do it alone. We understand that the unpredictable is often where innovation lies, and that the unexpected requires many advocates working together to succeed.

Our Strategies

Health: A healthy population places less strain on our economy. We are always searching for innovative ideas using unexpected solutions to provide health benefits for everyone.

Education: In a world driven by technology and change, educating children to embrace and adapt is key, as well as teaching them to see challenges and solutions rather than unsolvable problems

Arts, culture, and the creative economy: It is through art and culture that we find growth and enjoyment, enabling us to live a more fulfilling life. We assist and encourage those in the creative economy to build sustainable and empowering sources of income.

Public sector innovation: Public sectors are required to deliver more with less while effectively engaging with their citizens. We help them adapt to the strain of austerity and discover wider opportunities to solve problems and empower citizens.

We Fund

Collaborative research which links academic research with partner organisations in either the public, private, or third sectors.

If attending the full day workshop please download the required Expression of Interest form and return to the team by the date indicated in your email instructions.

EOI Form (organisations)


Bid Writing 101 workshop

This is a highly interactive, hands-on workshop to help you develop the transferable skills to write effective funding bids.


Before attending the workshop you will be expected to submit an Expression of Interest for a project that you would like the Bank of Imagination to fund. This does not have to be a real-world project; it is simply a vehicle to enable you to take part in the workshop. 

On the day

After introductions there will be a learning section which will take you through the bid application and inform you the types of information you may need to consider in order to make your bid successful.

You will need to bring a laptop to the workshop in order to fill in your funding application form. Make sure you have a power supply too, just in case. A USB pen drive would also be advisable. 

Writing your bid

A funding application form will be distributed at the workshop.

You will be given ample time to draft your bid during the morning. After a brief lunch break we will have a short progress report session before continuing to revise and complete your bids before the end of the workshop.

Group Feedback

Throughout the day there will be opportunities for group feedback as well as one-to-one support from the Imagination team.


The end of the session will allow for reflection of what has been learned and ensure that everything has been understood and answer any further questions. We will also discuss where, if you so wish, you could apply for real-life funding for the bid proposal and how you might apply what you have done to future applications.

Bank of Imagination background

The Bid Writing 101 workshop and Bank of Imagination project came from a HEIF funded projected called the Funding Accelerator which ran for over eighteen months from January 2018. The aim of the Funding Accelerator was to create a ‘bloom’ of projects, initially in the Blackburn with Darwen area, and subsequently including Blackpool, Morecambe & Lancaster, and Cumbria.

We ran a variety of workshops around projects, funding, and working with acadermics. These were aimed at the public, private, and third sectors however we found that the majority of our attendees came from the third sectors together with a good number of staff from Blackburn College and University.

These activities and the interest they generated led to us developing the Bid Writing 101 workshop to show how bid writing was an important part of an organisation’s day to day activities and position it as a creative practice, so improving capability and capacity of bid development. We had found that many people wanted to write bids but had little or no experience, and some had not even considered that obtaining funding or a project was something they could bid for.

Our range of workshops have, so far, helped participants achieve over 60% success rate for funding and attracted almost £2m funding through 29 projects spread across a range of 22 partners ranging in size from £500 – £380,000.

In late 2019 the Funding Accelerator came to an end, however the ideas and workshops continue as part of the Beyond Imagination project, sharing bid writing and funding expertise with external organisations and bringing those organisations together with academics to work on joint projects to benefit everyone and the communities they serve.