A1 Birtley to Coal House scheme benefits local communities through National Highways Social Value fund


18 Mar 2022

Funding will leave a lasting legacy in the community

Since October 2022 National Highways has provided a social value fund to help support local community projects in the communities close to our major projects.

This fund is designed to recognise how our work can effect local communities and to highlight and support work to improve community wellbeing, and encourage inclusion of under-represented groups, and develop more education, skills and employment opportunities.

The A1 Birtley to Coal House scheme has been incredibly successful, achieving funding for 13 local projects investing a total of over £87,000 in grants that not only help right now, but also leave a legacy and foundations for a bright future even after the scheme has finished.

Lamesley Church Hall defibrillator - £1,995
We were able to donate this funding to a local Church Hall, in walking distance from our Allerdene site office. The defibrillator is an essential piece of equipment which could ultimately be lifesaving and a real asset to the community. This project was approved in December 2022.

Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy - £595
Our Community Relations Manager is an Enterprise Advisor at the Academy and recommended applying for funding. The school have secured the  funding to start up a lunchtime and after school careers club. This project was approved in February 2023.

Whickham Thorns Outdoor Activity Centre - £8,100
The Activity Centre was taken over from the local authority by the Gateshead Scouts after years of neglect and deterioration. Funding was applied to build a fence around a climbing wall to prevent unsupervised access. This project was approved in March 2023 and has future proofed the Outdoor Activity Area.

Birtley East Primary School - £8,000
Funding was required to create a community garden to share with the local community. The funding enabled the school to create planting areas and upgrade the pond area to flourish and mature. This was approved in June 2023.

Lobley Hill Primary School - £10,000
The school have been fundraising to build an inclusive outdoor play area to include facilities for children with physical and hidden disabilities. The funding for this application was approved in July 2023 and will make a significant difference to children with additional needs.

FACT (Fight All Cancers Together) - £10,000
This cancer charity has purchased an old public house and are converting it into their local Community Hub. Ongoing fundraising has raised most of the funds to buy and refurbish the premises although it fell short of the overall costs required. This project was approved in October 2023.

Gateshead Foodbank - £8,518.59
While volunteering at the foodbank we identified an opportunity to improve processes within the charity by buying equipment to cut down on manual handling in the preparation of food parcels. This project funding was approved in October 2023.

St Andrews Church - £2,314
As close neighbours to our A1 Birtley to Coal House compound, we learned that volunteers were struggling to maintain the graveyard. An application for £2,314 was approved in October 2023 and used to purchase essential gardening equipment.

Portobello Primary School - £8,860.74
33 out of 193 pupils that attend Portobello Primary School require SEN support. Also, 93 out of 193 students are female which is the target of this project, to increase female and under-represented groups interest in technology. The application for the robotic equipment was approved in October 2023.

Portobello Primary School

Community Wood Recycling - £9,788.48
The company have been collecting and recycling our waste wood and turning it into tables, chairs, planters, etc. This local charity wanted to create a community kitchen area to create healthy and cheap meals which they will also donate to the local community. This funding was approved November 2023.

Gateshead Scouts - £10,300
This group want to offer Scouts groups and local schools and community groups the opportunity to camp outside in their forest area. An eco-toilet that is accessible for all was essential for this. This project was approved in November 2023.

Skills4Work and the Mount Community Centre - £3,240.97
This charity offers young adults with disabilities and/or mental health issues with work experience opportunities within gardening and woodwork. This funding is also supporting students to host lunches within the Mount Community Centre for anyone who needs a warm space. This was approved in January 2024.

Arcadea Arts - £5,458.20
This group work to create equality of opportunity in arts and culture throughout the North East. They offer a safe space for young adults with a variety of disabilities, to explore their artistic talent, while giving their carers some well-earned ‘time out’ from their caring duties. The artwork produced by the group, can be purchased after the exhibitions have been held. This was approved in February 2024.