Thousands of pounds up for grabs for community groups in Hartlepool

Donna Easby, left, of NPS and Kirsty Swanson of Hartlepool Borough Council with the grant forms.
Donna Easby, left, of NPS and Kirsty Swanson of Hartlepool Borough Council with the grant forms.

A £36,000 pot of cash is up for grabs for community groups in Hartlepool.

The whopping wad of money is to improve people’s information technology (IT) and computer skills, and voluntary and community groups which can offer such a service are being invited to apply for portions of the sum in the form of grants.

The money for the scheme is fromNorthgate Public Services (NPS) Community Fund.

The grant initiative – launched last year - forms part of a partnership between Hartlepool Borough Council and NPS who have a seven-year contract to provide IT services to it.

To be eligible for a grant, organisations must meet the following criteria:

• Deliver services in the Hartlepool Borough.

• Have been in existence for more than 12 months.

• Be value for money.

• Not be in receipt of funding for similar activities from the council.

The grant money can be used for a variety of purposes, including training courses to enhance core ICT skills, establishing a network of community-based digital champions to help promote an online service, and support the training of local people, schools and teachers

Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher,leader of the council, said: “The Fund is designed to improve people’s IT skills which are so important in today’s society.”

Last year, seven local organisations benefited from grants totalling almost £29,000.

Joe Bradley, executive director with Northgate Public Services, added: “The NPS Community Fund demonstrates our commitment to supporting local people.

“Improving local people’s digital skills is a top priority for NPS and we look forward to receiving applications once again from local organisations.”

Over the term of the agreement with the Council, it is estimated that NPS’s presence in the town will result in £2.9m being ploughed into to the local economy.

Application forms can be obtained by contacting Kirsty Swanson at Hartlepool Council on (01429) 523003, or email kirsty.swanson@hartlepool.gov.uk.

The closing date for applications is Friday, June 26.