Big changes start locally

The Virgin Money Foundation awards grants worth £250,000 to North East charities



  • Six projects across the region will benefit from £249,746 in new awards from The Virgin Money Foundation’s North East Fund
  • Projects supported include helping homeless people find accommodation in North Tyneside, the regeneration of a community hub in Grangetown and a lettings agency helping vulnerable young people in County Durham
  • The North East Fund remains open for grant applications until 10 November

The Virgin Money Foundation has announced a new round of grants from its North East Fund, awarding £249,746 to benefit charities in the region.

Six different charities from across the North East will benefit from the new grants, with funding to support a range of different projects.

Nancy Doyle-Hall, Executive Director of The Virgin Money Foundation, said:

“Our North East Fund supports community regeneration by backing the people who can make big changes happen locally. The new awards will make a real difference in the North East neighbourhoods that need it most."

"The 2018 round of the North East Fund remains open for applications until 10 November, so we’d encourage community organisations looking to make a positive difference in their community to apply for funding.”

Three of the organisations receiving funding through the North East Fund are:


Nacro Homes Agency is a social lettings agency which specialises in securing good quality homes for people who are either homeless or have insecure housing. The service successfully operates across Teesside, County Durham and Sunderland. The grant from The Virgin Money Foundation of £42,409 will fund the expansion of the social lettings scheme into North Tyneside, focused on accommodating vulnerable women.

Paul Phillips, Head of Property and Asset Management at Nacro said:

“Nacro are excited to be given this opportunity to continue working with The Virgin Money Foundation. For Nacro this grant is hugely important in helping us develop new services for vulnerable people in North Tyneside. It will allow us to build on the success we have already achieved in the North East through previously Virgin Money Foundation funding and support.”

Future Regeneration of Grangetown

An award of £44,686 has been made to Future Regeneration of Grangetown in Middlesbrough. The Grangetown United Social Club was once at the heart of the local community, but the building and surrounding shops have fallen into disrepair and dereliction. With funding of over £1.5 million from the Big Lottery and Power to Change, the building and shops are being brought back as a multiuse community resource. The award from The Virgin Money Foundation will support the tireless work of community enterprise manager, Lynn Pallister.

Lynn, who has vast experience of regenerating deprived communities, said:

“The strength of support from The Virgin Money Foundation, the community and our partners has been overwhelming. The Grangetown United project is a flagship for future community hubs. Not only does it regenerate the area, creating much needed jobs, it is also sustainable. “Having an affordable, spacious and accessible community hub within the heart of Grangetown will mean for the first time we can address a wide range of social, economic and physical problems under one roof, reducing social isolation and encouraging cohesion and community spirit."

Moving On Durham

Moving on Durham is a social lettings agency which secures accommodation for vulnerable young people across County Durham. An award of £41,223 will enable the charity to grow its lettings programme from 30 to 100 properties, enabling the charity to house and support a far greater number of vulnerable young people across the county.

Peter Richards CEO of Moving On Durham said:

“Moving On Durham are absolutely delighted to be supported by The Virgin Money Foundation. The grant awarded will allow us to grow our Social Lettings Agency, 'Moving On Lettings' to the point of independent financial sustainability, ensuring that going forward we have a good supply of well-maintained properties for homeless and disadvantaged young people in County Durham. A really fantastic opportunity to help us grow this new and needed service for the community."

The latest grants bring the total level of awards made by the Virgin Money Foundation to over £6.5 million since it launched in August 2015.

The Virgin Money Foundation offers additional support to charities beyond grant awards. Each successful charity will also be able to take advantage of pro-bono support, training or mentoring from colleagues at Virgin Money. Charities benefit from the expertise that this opportunity presents, as it enables them to fill skills gaps they may have in a particular area.

Charities wishing to apply to the North East Fund should contact for more information.

Action Foundation North East Wide £49,768
Cramlington Voluntary Youth Project Northumberland £22,000
Future Regeneration of Grangetown Middlesbrough £44,686
Moving On Durham County Durham £41,223
Nacro North Tyneside £42,409
North East Autism Society East Durham £49,660

About The Virgin Money Foundation

The Virgin Money Foundation launched in August 2015 as an independent charitable foundation focused initially on community projects in the North-East of England, and growing to operate nationally over time. It promotes the sustainable regeneration of economically and socially deprived communities in the UK. This includes providing investment in community housing and building projects, promoting opportunities for youth work and training, as well as investing in projects designed to relieve unemployment.

The Foundation is funded through donations from Virgin Money, the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport and the Big Lottery Fund. Virgin Money funds the majority of The Foundation’s running costs, which helps to ensure that 100% of donations go towards helping the Foundation to achieve its charitable objectives.

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