Groups can bank on bids for funding

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FUNDING help could be at hand for Ponteland’s community groups.

Banks Group, which operates the nearby Brenkley Lane Surface Mine, is inviting bids from voluntary organisations and sports clubs in the area for money from its Community Fund.

Grants will normally be given out to successful applicants for up to £5,000 towards capital costs, although higher amounts are sometimes considered.

Mark Dowdell, Environment and Community Director for Banks Group, said: “Budgets in the public sector are very much restricted at the moment, so local groups are looking around for alternative funding.

“We are not the complete solution, but we may be able to be part of it by helping to get their projects up and running.

“Given the positive impact they have on their communities, it’s only right that we are extending the scope of our Community Fund and we welcome bids from groups in Ponteland.

“But we would expect organisations to raise some of the money themselves, which shows that the project can be sustainable rather than a group simply putting out the begging bowl.”

There is also a specific fund related to the Brenkley Lane site that applies to the Ponteland East county council ward, which also includes Stannington.

Ponteland Mayor Robin Ramsay said: “I’m sure there will be a number of groups applying for funding and it’s good that there are quite a few organisations based in the Ponteland East ward – such as Ponteland’s football, cricket and rugby clubs – which can take advantage of the Brenkley Lane fund.”

For more information about the funds, telephone 0191 3845460 or visit www.bankscommunityfund.org.uk