A COMMUNITY organisation launched this week is to get off to a flying start thanks to £2m local government grant.

East Durham Trust, based in one of the worst-affected deprivation areas in the country, has been established to help communities to take an active role in shaping the future of the district.

Its launch tomorrow will be attended by more than 100 people, including community leaders and representatives of community groups from across east Durham.

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As well as key-note speeches, the event at the Glebe Centre, in Murton, will include a solo cornet performance of the Miners Hymn Gresford and a commemorative tree-planting ceremony.

The trust has received financial backing from the Local Strategic Partnership, whose chairman, Councillor Alan Napier, will be giving a message of support at the event.

Chief executive of the trust, Malcolm Fallow, said:"This is a tremendous opportunity for the district.

"It is our aim to assist community groups in many ways ranging from providing advice on funding to making sure organisations are fully involved in shaping the future of the district.