Durham community groups can apply for thousands of pounds of grant money from a Durham Area Action Partnership fund.

The "It's Up to You" funding pot has been running for seven years and offers Durham community groups and voluntary organisations the chance to get funding to help with projects.

The applicants for the Durham Area Action Partnership fund will then be put to a public vote to decide who will get the money that's on offer.

The deadline for submitting to the It's Up to You fund is Friday September 27.

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One Durham community group that has benefitted from the Durham Area Action Partnership It's Up to You fund is the amateur performing arts group Durham Musical Theatre Company, which received a £2,000 grant from the fund last year.

The money helped the group to keep its performances inclusive and open for everyone to enjoy.  

Anthony Smith, chair of the Durham Musical Theatre Company, said: "The grant from the Durham AAP was used to keep our ticket prices as low as possible resulting in 100 per cent ticket sales and full houses for our production of Evita at the Gala Theatre, which went on to be nominated for three National Operatic and Dramatic Society Awards.

"This has kept us solvent for another year and will allow us to proceed with a production of Chess in 2020."

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The Durham Area Action Partnership It's Up to You fund is open to not for profit organisations in Durham City, Bearpark, Witton Gilbert, Framwellgate Moor, Newton Hall, Neville's Cross, Pity Me, Shincliffe, Pittington, Sherburn, Sherburn Hill, Shadforth, Ludworth, Littletown, West Rainton, Brasside, Belmont, Gilesgate and Carville. Parish and town councils are also eligible to apply for a grant.

Craig Morgan, Durham AAP coordinator, said: "We are delighted to have this funding to improve the lives of local people in our area. We have a pot of £20,000 and people can apply for grants of between £1,000 and £2,000."

Who gets the Durham Area Action Partnership It's Up to You funding will be decided by a public vote that is taking place at Durham Town Hall on Saturday November 23.

Organisations need to complete an application form, available from the Durham AAP. If groups need any support in completing an application, help is available.

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