North East community groups get £2m Big Lottery Fund boost

Communities across the north-east of England are to share more than £2m of lottery funding.

The Big Lottery Fund's Reaching Communities scheme aims to help people build stronger networks in their area.

Among the successful projects were Women's Support Network, in Middlesbrough, which received £445,935.

Northumberland's Bardon Mill and Henshaw Village Hall and Community Projects Group got £354,576 to build a partially underground village hall.

The hall will be partially "earth-sheltered", to look like the entrance of a drift mine, and will be built on the site of a former colliery.

Middlesbrough's Women's Support Network supports people affected by rape or sexual abuse as well as housing, debt and further education advice.

Other projects to receive funding were Heel and Toe Ltd, in Framwellgate Moor, County Durham, Age UK Sunderland, Hexham Community Partnership, in Northumberland, and Crisis UK, in Newcastle.

The Percy Hedley Foundation, Middlesbrough Mind, North Tyneside District Disability Forum and Hartlepool's Parent and Toddler Care complete the list.

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