28th Jul 2021

Photo: A young person enjoying water-based activities at Coquet Shorebase Trust. 

A fund which benefits organisations and residents in North Northumberland has over £133,000 available to be awarded in grants this year.

The Ventient Sisters and North Steads Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland is open for applications from organisations within 5km of the wind farm, with consideration to some projects outside this radius. 

Pete Barrett, Senior Programme Advisor at the Community Foundation said: 

“Each year there is £133,500 available for Charities and community groups, who can apply for grants of £750 up to £20,000 for charitable activities. We are always happy to speak with you, to listen to your ideas on how together, we can continue to help make the area a great place to live.” 

The fund has supported capital projects including a kitchen refurbishment for a small local charity and upgrading a play park for local children but has also supported core salary costs. 

One such group to benefit from the fund are Coquet Shorebase Trust. The Trust received two grants totalling £14,950 allowing them to resurface their yard and ramp and to provide free water-based activities to pupils at schools and youth groups in Widdrington, Red Row and Broomhill. The students had the opportunity to learn about water safety as well as trying kayaking and paddle boarding. 

Pete Barrett explained how the grants are particularly important given the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic:  

“The Community Foundation recognises the benefits of keeping active, having outdoor activities available for people of all ages within our communities, especially now as access has been limited for the last 18 months.   

“I’m delighted to see that the Coquet Shorebased Trust grants being used to help sustain a local organisation and improve local facilities.” 

Vic Brown, Manager at Coquet Shorebase Trust explained how the grants have had a positive impact: 

“Water safety and being able to make the most of the opportunities watersports can give is freely available to all the children in the windfarm benefit area due to these grants. It is great to see so many of them taking advantage of it.  

“We have always wanted our facilities to be there for the local people, and this helps us to be able to do that. The new tarmac access to the water has been a real success, with improved safety, looks and disabled access.” 

The fund has a significant impact in the area and this is valuable opportunity for local organisations to apply for grant funding. 

The deadline for applications is 30 August and organisations are welcome to contact Pete directly if they wish to discuss their application. 

You can read the fund criteria and make an application here. 

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