A popular kurling group has been kept up and rolling thanks to funding from one of the region’s largest providers of affordable housing.

West Auckland Memorial Community Association’s new age kurling club was at risk of grinding to a halt when its stones required expensive repairs. But now volunteers are back on target thanks to funding from County Durham Housing Group.

Almost £300 of ‘group grant’ funding was donated to restore 20 stones, which have seen almost 10 years of action.

More than 30 disadvantaged adults from Bishop Auckland, Crook and West Auckland regularly take part in the sport at West Auckland Memorial Hall, which provides a highly-valued social outlet for everyone who gets involved.

County Durham Housing Group Funding Officer, Damian Pearson, said: “Without the repairs to these stones the kurling club would have struggled to continue. By providing a relatively small amount of funding more than 30 local people can continue to take part in these really valuable sessions.

“This is exactly the kind of project that ‘group grant’ was set up to support; great grass roots activities that have a huge social value.”

Dave Williamson from West Auckland Memorial Hall said: “This is a much-needed donation. We were devastated when we started up after the Christmas holidays to find that the bearings in the stones had all gone rusty and few of the stones would run. This was very distressing for the players, but thanks to County Durham Housing Group we are again back on track.”

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.

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