Cash boost for Sunderland art studio

Val Craggs of the Art Studio in Lombard Street, Sunderland, which has been awarded a grant from the Northern Rock Foundation.
Val Craggs of the Art Studio in Lombard Street, Sunderland, which has been awarded a grant from the Northern Rock Foundation.
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A STUDIO which offers creative opportunities for people with mental health problems has been given a cash boost.

The Art Studio has been given £65,000 by the Northern Rock Foundation.

Art Studio chairman, Val Craggs, said the money will give a huge boost to the charity and the work it does.

Val said: “This means everything to the Art Studio. The Northern Rock Foundation has supported and helped us over a number of years. Without their help, there are times when we would not have survived.

“The money will support the studio in terms of the artists working with us.

“It will go towards the different things that the members want to do, whether that’s ceramics, painting or film-making, as well as the running of the organisation.”

The money will be given to the studio over a number of years.

Val said: “Funds are very hard to come by and we are so happy they have continued to support us.

“I think they appreciate the work we do with members who come to us with mental health problems.

“It is a big problem that impacts a lot of people.

“We provide a safe, caring environment where our members can work with professional artists and qualified staff.”

Two years ago the studio moved from its location in Hind Street to Lombard Street.

Plans are now under way to transform the old location into a boutique hotel.

Val said: “The council was very helpful in helping us to find a new location suitable for our needs.”

Other organisations to have benefited from cash from the foundation are Sunderland Headlight, which received £84,747, towards a development manager and other costs.

Washington Mind was awarded £56,250 towards a community engagement worker and £19,920 was given to Ford Pallion Millfield Community Development Project towards costs of establishing a handyman service for older people.

Twitter: @sunechohannah