COMMUNITY groups from across the North-East can try to win up to £1,000 from a fund aimed at encouraging learning in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Venator is offering a top award of £1,000 for the application that receives the most public votes overall in an online poll, with all other applicants in the top 40 receiving a grant of £250 from its Bright Ideas fund.

Groups can apply online at and propose how their group would use the funding to support innovation and STEM-based learning. Entries are open until 10am on April 9.

All proposed projects must benefit communities in the North-East of England, within the local authority boroughs of Darlington, Durham, Gateshead, Hambleton, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, Redcar & Cleveland, South Tyneside, Stockton and Sunderland.

Karen Fenwick, from Venator, said: “We’re delighted to reopen our Bright Ideas Fund.

“It’s also a pleasure to announce that a top award of £1,000 will be given to the school, charity or group that gets the most votes in the online public poll this year.

“Innovation is at the heart of what we do at Venator, so it’s really important to us we’re able to give back to North-East communities that nurture innovative thinking and promote STEM-based learning.”