COMMUNITY festivals and sports and residents groups are among the initiatives in Middlesbrough to benefit from grants of more than £20,000.

A total of 28 good causes are being supported through Middlesbrough Council’s Community Chest programme.

Among the recipients of small grants are the Middlesbrough Community Pride festival, the UDance Festival staged by the Youth Dance Academy and Writers Block North East who will use the money to establish a community film festival using Centre Square’s Big Screen.

Also benefiting are Middlesbrough Sportability Club, RGK Tees Valley Wheelchair Sports Club, Nomads Table Tennis Club, Middlesbrough Croquet Club and East & West Volleyball Club.

Others awarded grants in the 2015 scheme are Middlesbrough Neighbourhood Watch, the Child Deaf Youth Project and Albert Park Dog Walkers & Friends of Albert Park.

The grants range from £200 to £1,000 and in total £20,243 has been committed to good causes.

Councillor Brenda Thompson, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Supporting Communities, said: “The small grants awarded under the Community Chest programme will hopefully make a big difference to the grass roots groups who are to benefit.

“It is particularly pleasing to be able to provide assistance to such a wide range of initiatives and activities, including those festivals included that can be enjoyed by everyone in Middlesbrough and beyond.”

Under the Community Chest scheme grants of up to £1,000 are available to voluntary and community Groups within Middlesbrough.

Applicants must demonstrate that the project or group will benefit the people of Middlesbrough, encourages community activity and stimulates participation and involvement and compliments the services and priorities of Middlesbrough Council.

• Anyone wishing to apply for a Community Chest grant should contact Middlesbrough Council’s Voluntary Sector Liaison Officer Sharon Barker on 01642 729127 or e-mail sharon_barker@middlesbrough.gov.uk.