Darlington groups are to benefit from larger funding pots, thanks to a new initiative by County Durham Community Foundation.

The foundation has focused its efforts on creating bigger grants by joining smaller funds together through the Darlington Grants programme.

Groups will be able to apply for grants of up to £5,000.

Margaret Vaughan, chief operating officer of the foundation, said: “We know from years of experience that grassroots groups and charities can transform their communities with the right funding.

“So often these groups are run by people at the absolute heart of their communities, who know exactly what’s needed and when, if only they had the financial backing to get it done.

“By uniting our generous donors, we’ve been able to create a grants programme just for Darlington, with more sizeable grants available. This means successful applicants can do more and build sustainability into their work.”

Leader of Darlington Borough Council, Heather Scott, has pledged support for the initiative.

She said: “We are really excited about this new funding programme, which has the potential to do so much good for people of all ages in Darlington.

“I would urge any group or small charity who has a good idea, to find out more, and turn that idea into a great success.

“Our voluntary and community sector is really strong in Darlington, and we know this money will help to bring new life and opportunity to the scene.”