MONEY from an energy firm is being used to create a new play area in north Durham.

A grant of £8,125 has been given to Benfieldside, Blackhill, Bridgehill and Shotley Bridge Community Partnership from the EDF Energy Renewables Boundary Lane Community Benefits Fund.

It will allow the partnership to construct a multi-use games area in the grounds of Benfieldside Primary School, near Consett, to combat the lack of outdoor play area available.

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It is hoped the games facility will address problems in the area such as anti-social behaviour, obesity in young people and the lack of areas to socialise.

The firm has installed three wind turbines over the county border at Boundary Lane in Northumberland, which can produce enough electricity to supply the annual needs of about 3,200 households.

County Durham Community Foundation, which manages the fund, is distributing grants of between £500 and £5,000 to community and voluntary groups within a three-mile radius of the wind farm.

EDF Energy Renewables’ head of asset management Nick Bradford said: “We take a long-term approach to the wind farms we develop.

“We see ourselves as part of the communities in which we operate, not just today but also for the future.

“Our aim is to support local communities and we’re pleased to be able to do so through funds such as the one we’ve set up for Boundary Lane.

“We’re delighted to have partnered with County Durham Community Foundation and are looking forward to working with them to support community based projects in the local area.”

To find out more about applying for grants log on to cdcf.org.uk