A new £20,000 scheme offering community groups across County Durham small grants to help fund key projects has been launched.

Funding for projects like community events, training and equipment is being offered by County Durham Housing Group. The new ‘group grant’ scheme will offer up to £500 and is designed to help new groups make their first steps as well as supporting longstanding organisations.

The application process for ‘group grant’ has been kept deliberately simple and funding decisions will be made monthly to ensure local groups are not waiting for lengthy periods to find out if they have been successful.

Any community organisation, non-profit making group, charity or school working in the areas served by County Durham Housing Group will be eligible for the scheme; this includes most of east Durham, central Durham and Weardale, plus towns and villages like Pity Me, Bishop Auckland and Sherburn.

County Durham Housing Group Community Investment Manager, Rachel Edmunds, said: “We know that there are groups right across the county who are keen to make a difference in their community; where even relatively small amounts of funding could make all the difference to what they can achieve.

“This new scheme has been specifically designed to help those groups … and even to help new organisations make their first steps. We’re hoping group grant will help to make lots of projects possible right across the county.”

Full details of the group grant scheme are available at www.countydurhamhousinggroup.co.uk/groupgrant, by calling 0191 349 7777 or emailing groupgrant@cdhg.co.uk