New grants on offer to keep community buildings in good shape Release Date: 30 May 2018 Charities, community groups and good causes across the North East and Cumbria are being invited to apply for a newly launched community grant from Newcastle Building Society which will provide an additional £50,000 from its successful Community Fund at the Community Foundation. From June 1, applications will be open for the new Building Improvement Grants which will be made available to community groups or charities in the region who need to make improvements to their community buildings. This might include new construction, expansion, renovation, or replacement of an existing facility or facilities. The Society is making additional money available from its successful Community Fund, which currently enables members to nominate charities and community groups in or around the Society's branch network for smaller grants of up to £3,000. Since its launch in 2016, the Newcastle Building Society Community Fund at the Community Foundation has contributed over £200,000 in grants to projects across the Society's North East and Cumbrian heartland. The most recent application period saw 180 nominations from customers of the Society, with the names of the latest successful groups, who will receive a total of £66,593 between them, revealed earlier in May. Andrew Haigh, chief executive at Newcastle Building Society, said: "The Newcastle Building Society Community Fund was designed to provide an ongoing source of financial support for charities and community groups that our customers tell us are making an important difference to the region. "Supporting our communities is core to what we do, and both our branches and wider organisation regularly develop strong, active links to community groups and charities in the North East. "Extending our successful community grants initiative with these larger Building Improvement Grants recognises that strong communities need appropriate and practical community buildings at their heart. "Whether that’s repairing a leaking roof, improving access, or resurfacing a pothole filled car park, we're very much open to hearing all types of ideas from our customers and are certain there will be no shortage of suggestions on how this additional new funding can best be used." Full details of the grants and eligibility criteria are available on the Society's website, with the closing date for the first round of Building Improvement Grants being 29 June 2018. The Newcastle Building Society Community Fund is run in association with the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland. Applications for both the existing and new grants can be made in any Society branch or via the newcastle.co.uk website by customers who wish to support their local communities.