Bridget Phillipson MP for Houghton and Sunderland South and Councillor Claire Rowntree from Sunderland Council joined members of the local community in Houghton-le-Spring when they attended a funding workshop, delivered by the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, at Easington Lane Community Access Point (ELCAP).


As the only regeneration organisation that is dedicated to improving the quality of life for former mining communities, representatives of the Trust explained how local groups can access the Coalfield Community Investment Programme (CCIP), which provides funding and practical support for local initiatives that have a positive social impact.


Attendees also learnt how to apply for up to £10,000 funding and access practical help from the team for projects that support the Coalfields Regeneration Trust’s three priorities for action; employment, skills and health and wellbeing.


Development Manager at the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, Stephen Abson, comments: “We welcome the support of Bridget and Claire. It was great to have the opportunity to explain how we are working for the benefit of the UK’s coalfield communities”.


“The CCIP programme works with hundreds of groups every year, giving them access to the funds and support they need to give them a more sustainable future. Without sufficient resources many of them would have to close, leaving a gap in the services they deliver.”


Bridget Phillipson MP, comments: “I would like to thank The Coalfields Regeneration Trust for their commitment to our area. Our voluntary and community sector organisations are vital and I would encourage them to find out how they can be supported.”


Councillor Claire Rowntree, comments: “These events are an insight into the reality of living in challenging times, when funding is more difficult than ever to access. Working with organisations like the Coalfields Regeneration Trust means that we are able to direct residents to the help that they need, which allows them to carry on and to meet with the needs of local people who are often some of the hardest to reach.”