Community groups across the region are in with the chance of winning a grant of up to £1,000 from Venator’s Bright Ideas Fund.
Last year, the Bright Ideas Fund gave away 40 grants of £250 to local schools, clubs and charities that inspire and encourage learning in science, technology, engineering and maths.
This year, Venator is offering a top award of £1,000 to the application that receives the most public votes overall in the online poll, with all other applicants that make it into the top 40 each receiving a grant of £250.
Groups are urged to apply online at www.venatorcommunity.com and propose, in no more than 250 words, how their group would use the funding to support innovation and STEM-based learning. Entries are open until 10am on Thursday April 9 2020.
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.
Past winners include the North Shields Heritology Project and Monkhouse Primary School in North Tyneside, Oakfield Infant School in Gateshead, Acklam Grange School Science Club in Middlesbrough, KTS Academy in Redcar & Cleveland, Fens Primary School in Hartlepool and UTC South Durham.
Karen Fenwick, Venator’s vice president corporate branding and communications, 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 that we’re able to give back to North East communities that nurture innovative thinking and promote STEM-based learning.”
Keith Spedding, trustee for the North Shields Heritology Project, one of the Bright Ideas Fund 2019 winners, said: “We needed help with funding to engage five local schools in the heritage of where they live.
“Our project aims to not just get kids interested in their heritage, but also in the immersive technology we’re using to bring that heritage to life.
“Winning a grant meant we could visit PROTO, the North East’s new home for innovation, so the school children could see these emerging technologies first hand and inspire them to create their own 3D model of a local heritage monument using photogrammetry.
“The fund application was very easy to complete and we were really pleased with the support that we received during the voting process.”
Venator is a New York Stock Exchange listed business with its global HQ at Wynyard.
The company established its Community Fund in 2018 to support the communities in which its employees live and work.
The Venator Community Fund is split into two funds, the Bright Ideas Fund which is now open for entries and the Together Fund which will reopen for entries later in 2020.