Grants show rural commitment | believe housing

Grants show rural commitment

5 July 2021 - Latest news

A leading housing association has awarded nearly £170,000 in grants to rural communities in the north east during the last 12-months.

County Durham-based believe housing grant funding has provided a lifeline for scores of community organisations in rural parts of the region during the coronavirus pandemic. No less than 61 rural projects have been funded, each receiving their share of £168,358.

The figures have been released during Rural Housing Week, a national initiative to highlight the commitment of housing associations to rural communities. The week also marks the anniversary of believe housing introducing funding specifically aimed at communities recovering from the worst effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Groups that have received funding range from primary school breakfast clubs to mental health support for coastal, former mining communities. The grants have all come from believe housing’s successful community funding programme.

One group to benefit was the Little Chefs Big Chefs Community Pantry. Based on the edge of Weardale at St Helen Auckland, the project covers a wide sweep of the Wear Valley all the way up to Stanhope. The pantry helps to tackle poverty by providing a whole range of cut-price food and household items for just a nominal charge.

Joanne Iceton from Little Chefs Big Chefs said: “We are overjoyed that believe housing has invested in this project as we feel it can benefit the community and area so much.”

believe housing provides affordable housing in some of the most remote communities in England. It has 18,000 properties stretching from coastal communities like Blackhall into the north Pennines, including villages like Wearhead and Rookhope.

Chief Executive of believe housing, Bill Fullen, said: “Our commitment to rural communities stretches way beyond simply providing houses. The rural towns and villages of County Durham are some of the most beautiful places to live in the country. But we know that serving them comes with extra responsibility to really support the community.

“That’s why we go out of our way to ensure that rural areas have access to grant funding that can make the difference between projects being viable, or not. These figures show just how much we value those projects, and the communities they work in; not just during a pandemic, but all of the time.”

Full details of grants from believe housing’s Community Funding Programme are available on our website, or by calling the Community Investment Team on 0300 1311 999.

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