Grants worth up to £500 are to be made available to County Durham groups involved in horticulture.

Any County-Durham based group which is volunteer-led, focused on horticulture and benefitting the local community can apply for the funding.

The applications will be considered by Durham County Council. Any groups granted funding will later be visited by the Northumbria in Bloom judges as part of the Royal Horticultural Society’s ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ programme.

A wide range of gardening and planting projects could qualify for the grants. In previous years, awards have been made to projects that have aimed to improve churchyards, woodlands, allotments and parks.

One former recipient of the funding was the West Rainton and Leamside Partnership, which used the grant money to replant the area around a church footpath with bulbs.  

The application process for grants opens today (Friday 2nd November). The closing date for applications is Friday 7th December.

The head of direct services at Durham County Council, Oliver Sherratt, said, “The reason this scheme is so popular is the level of buy-in from community groups who clearly care about their local areas and want to improve them.”

“Even small initiatives such as small-scale planting schemes can make a big difference to communities so I would urge anyone to apply, no matter what size the project is.”

If you would like to apply for a grant, please email the council’s Civic Pride Team on You can also contact the team by telephone on 03000 261 000.

For more information, please go to

(The featured image shows members of the West Rainton and Leamside Partnership, an organisation which was a recipient of one of the grants.)

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