- Areas to benefit include Northumberland, Tyneside, Wearside, Teesside, Cumbria, County Durham, North and East Yorkshire
- Charities across the North will benefit from grants of up to £50,000 each, to tackle housing issues in their local communities
- The application process for grants is now open
Community housing projects and charities are being urged to put their case forward as Nationwide – the UK’s biggest building society – makes £250,000 available to help make a difference across communities in the Northern region.
Jeff Watson, Nationwide’s Area Director for Northern England, said: “As a building society, ensuring that everyone has a place fit to call home is at the heart of what we do. Nationwide was founded to help people save and borrow money for land and materials to build their own homes. One hundred and thirty years on, we still have the same core purpose – helping people into homes of their own.
“We recognise there is a housing crisis, resulting in many people living in unsuitable, insecure or unaffordable accommodation. So, we are delighted to award £250,000 to communities across the North of England to support housing projects and make a real difference.”
The Society is inviting applications for grants of up to £50,000 that have the potential to strengthen communities and help make a difference in local areas. Projects could range from innovative new housing and improving rented accommodation conditions to supporting the most vulnerable.
Applications will be accepted from the following areas: Northumberland, Tyneside, Wearside, Teesside, Cumbria, County Durham, North and East Yorkshire.
Nationwide members will get a final say on which projects are supported in their local communities and a Community Board, which is comprised of members, employees, housing charities and experts, has been appointed. The Board will review all grant applications and put forward a number of local projects to a member vote in the Autumn. Nationwide members will then be able to vote, in branch or online, for a shortlist of charities to be awarded up to a maximum of £50,000. The Board and Nationwide branches within the region will also be providing time, contacts and expertise to these charities.
As part of the Society’s new social investment strategy programme, to provide everyone a place fit to call home, Nationwide plans to roll this initiative out across the UK from 2018, providing a £4million fund for community housing initiatives and charities – helping make a difference to communities up and down the country.
Full details can be found at www.nationwide.co.uk/communityfunding or in local Nationwide branches across the region.
Jeff Watson continues: “Our members voted for us to donate at least 1% of our pre-tax profits to good causes and asked that we focus on tackling housing issues.
“This is a fantastic way for them to make a difference to their local area and tell us exactly where our funding should be focused – after all, our members know their communities better than anyone else. We are initially focusing on the Northern region of England, but we plan to support other regions in the future. We urge local housing projects and charities in that area to get involved and make an application, so we can make a real difference and deliver the best possible results, together.”