Council plays Santa to worthy causes

A COUNCIL grants programme has reported a bumper year with almost £345,000 dished out.

The Community Chest Scheme was launched by Northumberland County Council to support activities of local organisations and voluntary groups, based in or predominantly serving the area.

This year 187 groups have received funding, with the awards split equally between the North, South East and West of the county after the applications were considered by a panel of councillors.

Locally, Northumberland Community Enterprise received £1,670 to provide an allotment project in Stobhill, Northumberland Wildlife Trust was given £1,500 to buy equipment for a volunteer group at Hauxley, Pegswood Art Initiative claimed £600 for an arts project and Morpeth Baden-Powell Scout Group received £1,335 for camping equipment.

Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade was awarded £2,000 towards the Fair Day costs and Pegswood Community Project received £2,000 for various activities.

Council Executive Member for Corporate Resources Andrew Tebbutt said: “Northumberland has a vibrant community and voluntary sector with a whole range of diverse groups and organisations working hard for the benefit of residents across the county.

“Through our Community Chest Scheme we have been able to provide a helping hand to local projects in need of extra financial assistance. At the same time, the council’s backing of these projects has often helped them to draw in extra funding from other sources, bringing more money into Northumberland’s economy.”

The total amount of additional funding that could be brought in by the grants is estimated at £2.6million countywide.