A DIVERSE range of activities has been planned for Northumberland throughout the winter months.

Northumberland County Council has launched the Great Northumberland Winter Festival, which will see events happening across the county until March.

Invited to speak at the launch, held at The Alnwick Garden on Tuesday, was Kiz Crosbie, artistic director of Prudhoe-based Mortal Fools, Mike Coleman, of Hexham’s Core Music, and David Ratcliff and Caroline Theobald, of Hexham-based Nordic Voices.

County council leader Peter Jackson said: “Since we launched our events programme last summer, Great Northumberland has gone from strength to strength.

“We have a vision that by working with the cultural and arts sector we can create seasons of events, stimulated by Northumberland’s heritage and arts and make these events free and accessible for all.

“We want to highlight what Northumberland can create, produce and deliver.”

The launch also doubled up as the second round of the Northumberland Cultural Fund, which invites event organisers to bid for a share of £65,000 to use for small projects aimed at supporting a programme of county-wide activities.

Applications can be made for events in any creative genre, by a constituted group, charity or not for profit organisation, but the fund can not be used to fund 100 per cent of the event.

The fund is designed to enhance the legacy of the Great Northumberland programme, and facilitate and encourage free and sustainable arts and cultural engagement.

To apply visit www.greatnorthumberland.co.uk/fund before 5pm on September 17.