Northern Rock Foundation relaunches £2m programme

The Northern Rock Foundation has reopened its grant programme for culture and heritage projects in north-east England and Cumbria.

The foundation will make £2m available for performing arts, contemporary craft, design and new media, museums and heritage, festivals and collaborations and professional training for practitioners.

The grant stream originally ran from 2001 to 2007, and provided nearly £27m for culture in the north-east. But it closed after the collapse of Northern Rock forced the foundation to introduce a reduced budget and end many programmes.

After nationalisation and the financial settlement agreed by Chancellor Alistair Darling in February, the foundation’s trustees decided to increase the 2008 grants budget by £4m to £11m.

The additional £4m has allowed the foundation to increase funding for voluntary sector training from £225,000 to £330,000.

Fiona Ellis, director of the Northern Rock Foundation, said: “The foundation is really pleased to be investing again in the region’s culture and heritage. Last autumn, trustees had to make very difficult decisions about scaling back their grant-making, but now, with the continuing support of Northern Rock under its new ownership arrangements, we can expand our plans again.”

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