March 12, 2014 | Community News
Family-owned North East property and energy business The Banks Group has reached a major milestone in its charitable giving after the value of its endowment funds held with the County Durham Community Foundation passed the one million pound mark.
Durham-based Banks have been involved with County Durham Community Foundation since it was set up in 1995, and is currently its largest corporate donor.
Banks, which employs 420 people, operates under a well-established ‘Development with Care’ ethos, which ensures that the firm conducts its activities in a responsible manner with consideration for the environment, for local communities in which it operates and for its customers, employees and suppliers.
The company’s relationship with County Durham Community Foundation began with a small donor-advised fund to which the company still contributes today, and has since grown to encompass 17 funds, including an endowment fund that has reached the £1m landmark.
These include the bespoke Banks Community Fund, which provides support to community groups, voluntary organisations and environmental projects that are charitable, educational, or benevolent in purpose and offer direct benefits to the local communities in the vicinity of a Banks development.
In total, Banks has provided grants worth £2.6m to community groups, environmental projects and other local good causes across the north of England and Scotland in the last 19 years, and structures are in place to ensure that donations from the funds held by County Durham Community Foundation will continue long into the future.
Mark Dowdall, environment and community director with the Banks Group, says: “This is a very significant milestone in our endeavours to provide enduring, tangible benefits to the local communities in which we work and to support projects that create a positive change in the lives of people in those areas.
“Since 1995, we have been able to support local groups with grants totalling £2.6 million, and our endowment fund will enable giving to go on well into the future.
“We very much value the partnership we have with County Durham Community Foundation and the expertise the team provides on where our charitable giving can best be directed.”
Barbara Gubbins, Chief Executive at County Durham Community Foundation said: “The Banks Group is one of County Durham Community Foundation’s longest supporters, holding funds with us since the Foundation began back in 1995.
“We work to help match the needs of community groups with the criteria the Banks Group has given us, and look forward to reaching the next milestone with this generous corporate partner.
County Durham Community Foundation manages over 170 funds each with their own bespoke criteria. To find out more about the grants offered and to apply, visit www.cdcf.org.uk or phone 0191 378 6340.
Projects, community groups, or voluntary organisations looking for funding in the vicinity of a Banks Group development should contact James Eaglesham at the Banks Community Fund on 0191 378 6342.