Margaret Vaughan, Chief Operating Officer of CDCF says “The CIF fund has been a great example of partnership working to invest in the communities of Teesdale, Weardale and former coalfield areas of south west Durham. Through the CIF the Foundation has connected with groups who previously had not explored the potential that small grant funding could deliver to enhance and deepen their group activities.”

Northern Heartlands Community Initiative Fund

The fourth and final round closed for applications on 31st May 2019.

Through this small grants scheme, Northern Heartlands aimed to:

  • Help people and communities influence future change by better understanding their past.
  • Help strengthen people’s sense of belonging and identity in the place/locality/landscape where they live
  • Provide opportunities for communities to come together in projects using arts, culture and heritage to support greater prosperity and/or improved health and well-being
  • Provide opportunities to help arts, culture and heritage organisations to collaborate with each other
  • Help people to have more access to arts, cultural and heritage activities, places and events.

Watch this video to hear Northern Heartlands’ Director, Jill Cole, and some of the projects that have received a grant talk about the Community Initiative Fund


CIF Round 3 – Holwick Stories, Altogether Archaeology

55 Sec Read: This is an extension of Altogether Archaeology’s excavation at Holwick in 2018. They explored the cultural heritage of this

CIF Round 3 – From Under Our Feet and With Our Own Hands, Hilltop Community Projects

15 Sec Read: A multi-media arts project using the local landscape as inspiration for a range of creative activities with the Tow

CIF Round 3 – Landscape, Nature and the Sheep Farming Year, Tow Law Community Association

25 Sec Read: As with the CIF Round 1 project, “Focus on our Native Wild Flowers”, schools and community members continue to

CIF Round 3 – Hidden Treasures, Helix Arts

26 Sec Read: “Hidden Treasures” brings geo-caching to Evenwood offering a unique opportunity to explore its rich cultural history.  The concept involves

CIF Round 3 – Woodland Wellbeing, Brightwoods Forest School CIC

24 Sec Read: This project, continuing until December 2019, is aimed at promoting the mental health and wellbeing in adults who feel

CIF Round Two – Evenwood Express – Evenwood, Ramshaw & District History Society

26 Sec Read: A project involving the local community in understanding and celebrating the heritage wealth of Evenwood and Ramshaw.  Community groups

CIF Round Two – Teesdale in Clay, Teesdale Community Resources

32 Sec Read: A project enabling local people to learn more about Teesdale’s heritage by using ceramics as the main medium for

CIF Round Two – Skydome, North Pennines Astronomy Society

28 Sec Read: Small groups were recruited from each of the four Northern Heartlands areas, working in teams to capture time lapses

CIF Round Two – A Walk Through Time (Middleton Plus Development Trust)

54 Sec Read: A project aiming to research, update and amalgamate information on local walks that has been produced in various printed

CIF Round One – Music at the Heart of Teesdale

38 Sec Read: As part of our on-going revival of folk song and dance traditions in the Teesdale area, our youth folk

CIF Round One – Focus on our Native Wild Flowers, Tow Law Community Association

33 Sec Read: This year long ‘Wild Flower’ project worked with schools, community members, conservationists and artists with the emphasis on local

CIF Round One – YMCA

1 Min Read: The young people of the YMCA have been going round Barnard Castle taking photos with different devices and learning

CIF Round One – At Home With Heritage

55 Sec Read: At Home with Heritage is a cross-curricular project by St John’s School and Sixth Form College, Bishop Auckland, designed

CIF Round One – Altogether Archaeology

22 Sec Read: The aim of the group is to promote awareness of the archaeological heritage of the North Pennines and the

CIF Round One – Teesdale Art Net

42 Sec Read: TeesdaleArtNet, TAN, are a group of artists living or working in Teesdale, at different stages of their artistic careers,

CIF Round One – River Gaunless for People and Wildlife

1 Min Read: Funding from the Northern Heartlands Community Initiative Fund has helped enable, particularly through supporting travel costs (often a barrier

CIF Round One – Drama in the Dale

36 Sec Read: Drama in the Dale have been working on their production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It. Rehearsals have gone

CIF Round One – Montalbo School Community and School Train Garden

1 Min Read: In the Summer term, a group of children from Montalbo Nursery and Primary School interviewed local residents to find