THE Government has pledged to donate £250,000 to the Great North Air Ambulance Service to help safeguard the future of the life-saving charity.
The money is part of a wider £5m donation earmarked for air ambulance charities throughout the UK, with the money originating from fines imposed in the aftermath of the Libor banking scandal.
GNAAS plans to use the money to safeguard the future of its fundraising and operational bases as their current leases expire in 2018.
A spokesman said: “We are yet to receive any official confirmation, but we understand that our application for a portion of the Libor fund has been successful. This would result in an injection of £250,000 which is clearly a significant amount and one which would provide a long-lasting legacy in the region. The grant has been earmarked for supporting future accommodation needs for the charity as current leases expire in 2018.”
The funding was confirmed earlier this week at a meeting between UK Chancellor George Osborne and the Air Ambulance Association (AAA), whose charity will distribute the money among 20 local air ambulance charities.
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said: “From enabling the fantastic Air Ambulance services to extend their flying hours, to helping build brand new specialist headquarters, this funding will play a vital role on helping to save hundreds of lives every year. It is absolutely right that we use funds from those who demonstrated the worst values to reward those who demonstrate the best, like our hardworking air ambulance crews.”
Clive Dickin, AAA National Director, said: “The entire Air Ambulance community is delighted with today’s announcement by the Chancellor. This funding – the result of extensive lobbying by the AAA – is excellent news for air ambulance charities and patients across the UK. Each of the 20 charities will use the funds in ways that will increase availability, types of activity, and overall patient care at a local level and this donation will ultimately help air ambulances across the UK to save many lives.”