MORE charities in the North East are set to benefit from a bank with a difference.
The Charity Bank, which lends solely to charities, community organisations and social enterprises across the country, is set to double the number of charities it helps in the region.
Offering loan amounts of up to £2.5million, the bank is also providing free consultations to potential borrowers.
One Sunderland church has already received a boost from the bank.
City Life Church were able to borrow enough to double in size, by building an extension to the church in Hylton Road.
The extension is now being used as a community hub home to a toddler group and a 60-plus club.
The building took a year to construct, with help from Gentoo. Church pastor Kevin Clarke, from Ryhope, said: “We had a piece of land next to the church building, and we were able to build on there.
“Now, we have a toddler group on Tuesdays, a 60-plus lunch club on Wednesdays and a youth programme, called New Generation, on Friday nights.
“The whole building is being used for the community.”
The £325,000 loan is repayable over 25 years, at an interest rate of about six per cent.
A spokesman for Charity Bank said: “As a bank established to provide affordable loan finance to the third sector, our terms reflect our mission, and we aim to make the loan process as simple as possible for our borrowers.”