Community groups, voluntary organisations and environmental projects are being invited to apply for funding from a community grant.
Banks Mining began operations at its Brenkley Lane surface mine near Seaton Burn at the beginning of 2010, and it provides financial support for organisations in the surrounding communities.
The funding is ring-fenced for specific areas including Stannington, Blagdon and the Horton Grange area, in grants of up to £5,000, although higher awards can be made in exceptional circumstances.
Hazlerigg Action Group benefited from a £30,000 donation to create a community play park.
Louise Fairley, from the group, said: “We would have had to do a huge amount more to raise the money needed to pay for it without Banks’ generous support, and we’re extremely grateful for the contribution to a fantastic facility that will be well used and appreciated by generations of local children.”,
Mark Dowdall, Banks’ environment and community director, added: “We’ve been able to make a huge positive difference to the well-being of dozens of communities in which we’ve operated over the years, most especially within the north east.”
Visit www.bankscommunityfund.org.uk to find out more.