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Chi Onwurah MP 'disappointed' by charity closure

Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah said the announced closure of the Northern Rock Foundation is an 'incredibly sad day' for the North East.

The charity will close at the end of the year after Virgin Money, its only source of income, halted funding.

The Northern Rock Foundation has made such a difference to so many lives as well as supporting the culture and values of the area.

I have often personally seen the positive consequences of Northern Rock donations.

I am very disappointed that Virgin Money could not find a way of working with such an important local institution given the personal commitment to the city and the region that Richard Branson and the company emphasised as part of their bid for the bank and in subsequent exchanges.

– Chi Onwurah MP, Newcastle Central

Virgin Money 'will continue to support NE community'

Virgin Money says it has have been 'very proud' to support the Northern Rock Foundation in the North East and Cumbria.

Today the charity announced it will close at the end of the year after it failed to reach agreement with Virgin Money on future funding.

The Northern Rock Foundation has contributed to some fantastic work here in the North East and Cumbrian regions for many years and we have been proud to support them with £1.5m of donations over the last two years.

We have tried hard to find a way to continue working together on programmes that would deliver significant benefit to the region, however we have not been able to agree a way forward.

We will continue to support the North East community strongly in a variety of ways and look forward to establishing new partnerships to deliver a range of exciting new projects.

– Jo Barnett, Head of Social Enterprise at Virgin Money


Northern Rock Foundation closes after failed funding talks

The chairman of the Northern Rock Foundation said they are very disappointed that talks with Virgin Money have broken down, leading to the closure of the charity.

The Foundation, which was originally the charitable wing of failed bank Northern Rock, doesn't receive funding from any other source.

It is very disappointing after such extensive discussions to have to accept that Virgin Money will not commit to fund the Foundation in future.

Trustees are keen to ensure that our remaining funds are used to achieve significant benefit in the North East and Cumbria and we will announce our plans later this year.

– Alastair Balls, Chairman of the Northern Rock Foundation

Northern Rock Foundation to close

The charitable arm of failed bank Northern Rock will close after Virgin Money confirmed it could not continue to fund it.

The Foundation said its closure was now inevitable as Virgin was its only funding source.

The Foundation's current grant programmes were due to close at the end of this year.

Announcements on the use of remaining funds will be made in the future.

Chancellor: "Transfer of Northern Rock added to national debt"

The transfer of liabilities of the Newcastle-based Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley to the national balance sheet is one of three measures which has had a "significant impact" on the public finances, George Osborne told Parliament in his Autumn Statement - adding £17bn to the national debt.

For further updates see the national ITV News.


£2billion tax bill for saving Newcastle bank

The cost of saving Northern Rock could cost the tax payer £2billion, according to a report from the Commons Public Accounts Committee.

The Newcastle-based bank got into difficulties in 2007 when it became the first bank in 150 years to suffer a run during the then financial crisis.

The bank, which had its headquarters in the North East, collapsed in 2007 Credit: ITV

Margaret Hodge, the committee's chair, has said the then Labour government took too long before deciding to nationalise the bank in February 2008.

  1. Derek Proud

Northern Rock deal could cost taxpayers £2bn

A report by the financial watchdog the National Audit Office says the Government bail out of Northern Rock could cost the taxpayer £2bn.

The Government spent £1.4bn on taking the troubled bank into public hands in February 2008. At the end of last year it sold part of the bank to Sir Richard Branson's group Virgin Money for £747m.

But the National Audit Office says that deal could cost the British taxpayer £480m and the total cost could get as high as £2bn in the long term. Robin Ashby of the Northern Rock Small Shareholders Group says the Government sold it off too soon.

But North East financial analyst Gary Fawcett of Brewin Dolphin said the Government had no choice.