COMMUNITY groups across Hambleton can once again bid for a slice of £125,000 in grant aid.

Members of the district council’s cabinet have agreed to fund the scheme for a further 12 months – bringing the total allocated over to £500,000.

And for the first time grants of £1,000 will be considered for the "Making a Difference" scheme – opening it up to more local community and voluntary organisations.

It is the fourth year for the project which has so far awarded grants to 88 organisations – including help for village halls, children’s play areas and sports clubs.

“These grants are helping local communities across Hambleton to make a real difference to their facilities – a small amount can go a long way,” said council leader Cllr Mark Robson.

“And we are keen to support as many of the community projects as possible – so by dropping the lowest grant available to £1,000 we hope that will bring in some of the smaller schemes as well.

“We look forward to seeing what comes forward in 2018.”

The fund is split between the market towns of Bedale, Easingwold, Northallerton, Stokesley and Thirsk.and their surrounding villages.

Applications are considered by five separate panels made up of ward councillors for each of the areas who decide how their £25,000 budget will be allocated. Projects must address one of the council’s priorities – driving economic vitality, enhancing health and wellbeing, caring for the environment or providing a special place to live.

The deadline for applications for the grant is March 29. For more information email