Sirius boost to local community projects

The Sirius Minerals Foundation has announced another £215,000 for local community project across the area. 

In its latest grant giving programme, seven charities from the Yorkshire and Teesside coast will benefit from funding to spend on education programmes designed to enhance local people’s skills, which is one of the core aims of the foundation.

The organisation is an independent charity funded by Sirius Minerals Plc to create a lasting legacy from the development of the company’s multi-billion-pound polyhalite fertiliser mine being constructed near Whitby and Teesside.

This is the second funding round for the charity, having distributed £300,000 to 80 projects throughout Teesside, east Cleveland, Whitby and Scarborough in December 2017.

The criteria for this funding round centred on skills development, with the Foundation deciding to award between £10,000 and £50,000 each to the following groups:

  • YMCA Scarborough ‘Youth Matters’ – The’ Youth Matters’ project is to build voice, capacity and engagement and also increase social mobility for up to 40 participants, aged 13-18 (and up to 25 for those with additional needs) across the North Yorkshire Coast Opportunity Area.
  • East Cleveland Youth Housing Trust – ‘Constructing Communities’, creating two 24-month construction-based apprenticeships for local young people. The Trust will be able to deliver more community-based projects and help increase the living options for those in housing need.
  • Coatham House in Redcar – ‘Reloved’ project offering 3 new apprenticeships for local young people in the catering and service trade working with the local college. The resources will help build capacity in terms of offering more work placements and volunteer opportunities offering accredited training to help clients progress into the world of work.
  • SASH in Whitby and Scarborough – ‘Improving Skills’ project to improve literacy and numeracy for young people at the risk of becoming homeless. In includes targeted and personalised support for each young person to obtain qualifications in both Maths and English.
  • Age UK – ‘Health, Wellbeing and Employment’ programme to help over 50s return to work in the area offering in-house group and 1-2-1 help with the main issues facing the older population.  The charity will be using a holistic approach to help these individuals move closer to the job market and look at all aspects of their lives.
  • Northern Regeneration CIC – Funding of the Construction Skills Village, to increase opportunities for people to gain construction skills by delivering a series of bespoke plant training and employment packages to support local individuals develop demand led skills in construction. This training will help support individuals to apply for demand led jobs in both the broader construction industry and Sirius Minerals mine when trained.
  • Community Furniture Store Ryedale in Scarborough – delivering a structured training programme to extend the work with people who are unemployed and face barriers to entering or re-entering work due to lack of skills and confidence.

David Archer, chairman of the Foundation commented: “The Foundation has been deliberately designed to put money back into the community and ensure that local people benefit directly from the success of the mine.  There can be no better long-term benefit to an area than having more people with better skills, so it seemed only right that we focus on this area this time around.

“The successful applicants impressed us with the thorough planning and clear focus of their programmes, which will create tangible outcomes that will make a real difference to people’s lives on the Teesside and North Yorkshire coast.”

Amongst the successful applicants was East Cleveland Youth Housing Trust, who said: “A grant like this means so much to us at ECYHT. It will help us preserve more run-down property and invest in the community in which we live and work.”

The foundation has been given £2m in funding while the mine is under construction.  Once the mine is complete, the foundation will be funded by an annual 0.5% cut of sales, which could be as much as £13 million per annum.

Gareth Edmunds, External Affairs Director at Sirius Minerals and Trustees of The Foundation, commented: “Sirius intends to continue to be an integral part of the community in North Yorkshire and Teesside for many decades, and the Foundation is an important way to help us give back to local people and provide a lasting legacy for the community.  It’s great to see another round of hard working organisations benefit from this latest round of founding”.

The successful applicants commented:

East Cleveland Youth Housing Trust

“A grant like this means so much to us at ECYHT. It will help us preserve more run-down property and invest in the community in which we live and work” – Andy Pettersen, Social Business Manager

SASH in Whitby and Scarborough

“This is a fantastic opportunity for our young people and we are very grateful to Sirius Mineral Foundation for making it possible.” – Deborah Rack, Trust Fundraiser

YMCA Scarborough

“With this funding we can commit significant resource to working alongside the young people, of what statistically is a very deprived and low-aspiring geography, to build greater social, human and financial capital for the area. We know we make a difference with the people we work with and this enables us to do an even better job of meeting the acute needs the local context presents.” – Martin Froggett Community Engagement and Development Worker

Northern Regeneration CIC

“This funding will support Northern Regeneration to broaden out our plant training offer, whilst helping us work towards addressing a construction skills Gap and bring economic benefit to the area.” – Graham Ratcliffe, Managing Director.

Coatham House

“The Coatham House Reloved project is very excited by the resources it has attracted and the opportunities it can offer in terms of training and employment for young people in the area and to be able to build upon its work within the community.” – Carl Ditchburn, Acting Coatham House Manager.

Age UK

“This funding will help Age UK Scarborough & District to work with those that often do not get the help is needed and can sometimes fall through the gaps.  It will help us to build our partnership working, and to make a difference to our local community.” – Julie Macey-Hewitt, Chief Executive Officer.

Community Furniture Store

“The funding is very much appreciated as it gives us an extended period to develop the quality of the work we do without having to constantly work on securing funding for the next group of participants at the same time.  This should enable us to increase the income raised from the workshop, taking a further step towards becoming self-sustaining.” – Andy Waites, Chief Officer.

Further detail about the organisation and its programmes can be found by visiting

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