England

Northern Rock Foundation set to close

Northern Rock Foundation logo Image copyright NRF
Image caption The foundation was established in 1997

A bank-funded charity supporting good causes throughout the North East and Cumbria is to be wound up.

The Northern Rock Foundation has handed out more than £200m since it was created in 1997, when its namesake was demutualised to become a bank.

Trustees said they had failed to agree future funding with Virgin Money, which took over Northern Rock in 2011.

Current grant programmes will stop at the end of 2014 as the charity prepares for its likely eventual closure.

In a different announcement, Virgin Money said it would make a £1m investment into community projects designed to make a positive difference to young people in the region.

'Scaling down'

Northern Rock Foundation said in a statement: "In May 2014, Virgin Money made a generous offer to the Northern Rock Foundation of £1 million per year for five years, to be matched by the foundation raising £3 million per year from the private sector locally.

"This was considered very seriously by the Foundation's trustees.

"Virgin Money and Northern Rock Foundation together looked at many different ways in which this offer could help to generate an income, including reviewing the current funding environment and canvassing views from private, public and voluntary sector bodies.

"Eventually it was concluded that, given the existing charitable commitments and links with other local funders of many other businesses in the region, this was not a viable option.

"Trustees believe there are now no funding routes left to pursue, (although they would be open to viable approaches) and will therefore proceed with the scaling down of the foundation's work."

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