More than £1.2 million has been awarded to voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations in the North East to fund projects that support young people in the region and that contribute to a green economic recovery.

The funding has been awarded by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), from its Local Growth Fund VCSE Capital Grant programme, which aims to help communities across the North East recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Projects awarded funding included the regeneration of our community garden which will include planting new tress and wildlife areas, creating communal cooking spaces, improving accessibility and the environment.

Helen Golightly, Chief Executive of the North East LEP, said: “The VCSE sector does vital work, not only in supporting communities but it also makes a valuable contribution to creating a stronger, greener economy.

“We recognise the central role that voluntary, community and social enterprise-led projects have to play as we work together as a region to build a stronger post-pandemic North East, and this new funding will help to bring forward projects that will benefit communities across our region.”

We will receive £54,612 towards the regeneration of our community garden to act as a hub for the local community, with opportunities for young people to undertake training in landscaping, biodiversity and horticulture.

Mandi Cresswell, Chief Officer of Meadow Well Connected, said: “The North East LEP funding will give a massive boost to our regeneration plans for our five-acre community garden and enable us to support local young people to gain skills and experience of working outside. It will create more biodiversity locally and create shared spaces for local people to enjoy.

“Our outdoor spaces have proved vital during the COVID-19 restrictions, providing opportunities to meet safely and connect with nature. We can’t wait to start this transformative work which will make a real difference to people of all ages.”

We already achieved a great many improvements during 2020 despite the pandemic and we hope to build and expand on this in the coming months. For regular updates on the gardens please read our blog or join the garden Facebook Group.

We can't wait to involve local residents in this work as Covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased. To find out more please contact our Garden Lead - Andy Skinner - [email protected]