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We thought it would be useful to provide a brief overview about a new organisation that has been formed in the Valley called Ouseburn Futures.
Whilst the Ouseburn Trust works closely with, and supports the objectives of Ouseburn Futures, it is a separate organisation, with its own aims, members, funding and structures.
Ouseburn Futures does not have any paid employees and was formed by a group of dedicated volunteers who wanted to see the aims and objectives contained in the recently approved Ouseburn Regeneration Plan implemented using community empowerment principles. This community group felt that the closure of Newcastle City Council's Regeneration team office in the Ouseburn Valley could take a more active role. In the spirit of good partnership working, a number of subgroups have been formed, which closely follows the structure of the regeneration plan for the Valley. These subgroups have their own meetings frequency and membership. Representatives from each of the different subgroups have come together to form an over-arching steering group, who then have upward links to the City Council. The Trust is represented on this steering group as it is an active participant in numerous Ouseburn Valley initiatives. You can find out more from this link: www.ouseburnfutures.org.uk
In March 2013, Sue Bright, Chair of Ouseburn Futures, signed the agreement with David Slater from Newcastle City Council, which sees Ouseburn Futures taking ownership of the Ouseburn Regeneration Plan. Here, Cllr. Henri Murison is joined by Pam Briggs, Chair of Ouseburn Trust, and Sue Bright on the roof of the Toffee Factory where the handover took place.
Photograph by John Hipkin, Trust Volunteer
Dale Bolland has summarised Ouseburn Futures' activity:
Ouseburn organises itself
Ouseburn businesses, organisations and individuals are organising themselves to take the regeneration of the area forward, to solve key issues, support each other and present a united front to outside bodies including the local council. So far five groups have been formulated to look at specific aspects of the Ouseburn Valley:
Visitor and Events group
Ouseburn family visitor attractions have been jointly organising for this summer including cross marketing. ‘A’ boards outside venues advertising what’s on at other venues and carrying out visitor surveys. The intention is to expand this group to cover music, art, heritage and key Ouseburn events calendar. Contact : Peter Kay
Is influencing the physical development of Ouseburn, design, planning, transport. With input from Northern Architecture, this group is updating planning and design documents that determine planning application decisions and organising local input to development proposals. Contact : Sheila Spencer
Is making sure Ouseburn looks good and is safe – looking at maintenance issues, green spaces, traffic, the rivers. There’s a small group gathering information on current issues. First open meeting during September. Contact Dave Cross
Ouseburn is a key employment and business area in Newcastle. Alongside established businesses, the creative cluster in Newcastle has emerged here with the area now home to over 400 businesses. How can we, together help our businesses grow? How can Ouseburn get economic development resources? Contact : Sue Bright, Cllr Nick Kemp, Tim Bailey
Arts and Culture group
There are over 150 studios in the Ouseburn. We need more representation from this group. Contact: Martin Ellis
Ouseburn Valley Board
It is proposed to draw representation from each of the five groups above to form a co-ordinating group, which will be able to deal directly with Newcastle City Council on behalf of the whole Ouseburn Valley area.
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