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.”