Community

Over the years Northumberland Estates has supported and given funding to benefit a wide variety of community projects. Highlighted here are a few examples, providing a snapshot of some of the wide variety of  schemes which have benefited from financial and other contributions and support in recent years. 

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Chatton School

For many rural communities the Village Hall is at the epicentre of village life. Yet modern ...

Chatton School

For many rural communities the Village Hall is at the epicentre of village life. Yet modern day health and safety rules and regulations can make it an uphill battle to find the funding necessary to maintain this valuable community resource to an acceptable level.

One way that Northumberland Estates has been able to assist many community projects is by granting long term leases for such properties and sports facilities owned by the Estate. This has enabled local committees and clubs to successfully apply for much needed grant funding to upgrade and improve facilities.

When the primary school in Chatton closed, the village asked Northumberland Estates, as the owners of the building, if it could be converted into a community facility rather than sold into private ownership. The Estate was happy to agree and continues to fund the upkeep of the building while facilities were upgraded following a successful application for grant funding. 

Chatton Village Hall Website

 

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The Duke's Charity

Every year Northumberland Estates and the Duke's Charity provide support to numerous chariti...

The Duke's Charity

Every year Northumberland Estates and the Duke's Charity provide support to numerous charities and good causes here in the North East and across the UK. Last year saw over 100 beneficiaries receive vital funding. Support is given to numerous projects from Parish magazines to sports clubs and from local charities such as the Alnwick Lions to educational facilities like the Fusiliers Museum and anyone can apply.

 

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The Aln Valley Railway

Northumberland Estates has been extremely supportive of this ambitious project which aims to...

The Aln Valley Railway

Northumberland Estates has been extremely supportive of this ambitious project which aims to reopen the old branch line from Alnwick to Alnmouth, a run of around three miles from the town to the coast. Development over many years within the town means the access by train to the old station at Alnwick is no longer viable. The project will therefore see the construction of a brand new railway station and visitor center on land provided by Northumberland Estates on a site adjacent to the A1 and the Lionheart Enterprise Park on the outskirts of the town. From there the line will follow the original track bed all the way to Alnmouth Station. Plans also include a cycleway and footpath to run alongside, providing a safe and traffic-free corridor between Alnwick and the National Cycle Network.

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Case Study

Lint Gardens

When Northumberland Estates purchased Alnmouth Boys Club in 2008 the initial idea was to create holiday apartments in this seaside town. The Parish Council objected to the loss of a community  facility and more holiday homes, claiming that if development was to proceed what the village  needed was affordable housing and private family homes for local people. Liaising with the Parish  Council, a plan was eventually conceived which met these needs. It required development on two  sites, that of the former Boys Club and that of the local allotments.

At the time only two of the 12 allotments were being actively used and the plots were very large,  overgrown and difficult to work, making them hard to let. Thanks to a degree of compromise on  both sides and close partnership working a solution was found.

The resulting scheme proposed 16 private and seven affordable houses, plus 12 new and improved  allotment plots on a much improved site. With the support of Alnmouth Parish Council, planning was  approved and local developer Sturton Grange Developments purchased the sites from  Northumberland Estates, with not-for-profit housing provider Four Housing taking on the affordable  housing element. Officially opened by the Duchess of Northumberland in March 2015, all seven of  the affordable homes had been swiftly let to tenants with a local connection to the area.

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Case Study

Alnwick Enterprise Hubs

In 2012 Government announced funding through the Rural Growth Network to assist business in rural areas to grow and create job opportunities. Northumberland was one of five chosen areas to receive this grant funding, and the Alnwick Enterprise hub at Cawledge Business Park on the outskirts of the town and owned by Northumberland Estates was one of the first projects in the region to benefit. Several years on, such has been the success of the Cawledge scheme that all of the units are now occupied and more have been developed using the same blueprint at other locations including Hawkhill and Lee Moor Business Parks.

The scheme aims to help small businesses by overcoming barriers to growth such as poor infrastructure, scarcity of premises and a lack of business networks. At the Alnwick Enterprise Hub owned by the Northumberland Estates 12 units have been created. Grant funding of 50 per cent was awarded from the North East Rural Growth Network to finance the conversion of these units with the rest coming from Northumberland Estates. Aimed at small and start up companies, they provide quality work space and common support services, and tenants are offered flexible licence agreements. A wide range of businesses are now on site