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Durham Community News

Lottery awards £1.5m to refurbish Village Halls across Northumberland, Cumbria and Durham

Rural communities in Northumberland, Cumbria and Durham have been awarded £1.5 million by The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, to improve Village Halls and similar community spaces, making sure they are fit for a sustainable future.

The funding thanks to National Lottery players has been awarded to the Community Spaces Partnership made up of Community Action Northumberland (CAN), Action with Communities in Cumbria (ACT) and Durham Community Action (DCA). The three charities had successfully piloted working directly with Village Halls and communities across the three counties and have been awarded £1,510,000 from The National Lottery Community Fund to now work together with rural communities and village halls across the region.

The partnership’s aim with the funding is to future-proof village halls and community spaces across rural Northumberland, Durham and Cumbria. This asset network is critical to how rural communities function and frequently are the only village venue where services can be provided, social interaction can take place and isolation be reduced.

CAN, ACT and DCA intend to embed this nationally-leading initiative across the three county areas and act as a model for potential roll-out to other parts of the country through their national network – Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE).

Kate Burrows, Executive Director at Durham Community Action said:

“It is wonderful to be able to build on our successful County Durham Community Hubs Development Programme to support local volunteers and invest in community-led action across County Durham. This partnership work will allow us to maximise investment to support communities and align the opportunities available to them to help future-proof these vital community spaces. We look forward to building ongoing trusted relationships to continue the sustainable development of community spaces across County Durham.”

Duncan Nicholson, Regional Head of Funding for the North East at The National Lottery Community Fund:

“Thanks to National Lottery players we can continue to support rural communities through the maintenance of vital community spaces which bring people together. We know village halls and community hubs are pivotal to building connections and maintaining relationships in more isolated areas, and it’s great that local organisations such as Community Action Northumberland (CAN), Action with Communities in Cumbria (ACT) and Durham Community Action (DCA) will continue to deliver that vital support to help people thrive.”