Funding from one of the north east’s largest housing associations is helping to turn an east Durham village into a haven for bulbs and flowers.
County Durham Housing Group has provided £500 through its ‘group grant’ funding programme to help Easington Community Garden grow and plant a huge variety of shrubs, bulbs and flowers throughout Easington Colliery.
The funding has helped volunteers improve planting conditions at their garden near the centre of the village with materials for new growing benches. The support has also allowed the gardeners to purchase 20 tons of top soil for planting and raised beds.
Already the funding has helped to turn a neglected site on Seaside Lane into ten brightly coloured raised beds and improve planting at the Dennis Donnini Memorial Garden.
County Durham Housing Group Funding Officer, Damian Pearson, said: “The volunteers from Easington Community Garden are doing great work with their planting. It’s great to be able to help them carry on in their mission to turn Easington Colliery into a more colourful place to live.
“This is exactly the kind of project that group grant was set up to help. The community garden is run by a small but dedicated group of volunteers and a relatively small amount of funding can go a long way.”
County Durham Housing Group launched its ‘group grant’ funding programme in summer 2017. In its first year more than £34,000 has been awarded to over 75 groups stretching from rural Weardale to the Durham coast.
Michael Welsh from the Easington Community Garden said: “The money can make things happen. We would not be able to do what we want to do if we did not have the money to purchase the top soil. It was a ‘Soil-ution’ to our problem”.
The application process for ‘group grant’ has been kept deliberately simple and funding decisions will be made monthly to ensure local organisations are not waiting for lengthy periods to find out if they have been successful.