|Making the most of heritage assets
I attended Fiona Knox's talk on the Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Allen Valleys which drew on the work of North Pennines AONB led Allen Valleys Landscape Partnership initiative http://www.northpennines.org.uk/our-work/allen-valleys-landscape-partnership/ . This project has include a diverse collection of initiatives aimed at
- conserving wildlife
- exploring lead mining heritage
- improving access via path upgrades and electric bike schemes
- training in heritage skills
- supporting the visitor economy
- establishing a community benefit society
The Allen Valleys Landscape Partnership is evidently succeeding in building community and celebrating heritage whilst improving accessibility and offer to visitors. At the end of the talk, Libby asked Fiona "When can you start a project like this for Haltwhistle?" Of course Fiona can't as she was talking about an AONB project and Haltwhistle isn't in the AONB - but wouldn't it be great if we could have a similar initiative. I think the partnership ethos is key along with funding to pay for key, committed staff. Might it be worth trying to gather leaders of some of the local organisations together and stating discussions for a Haltwhistle/South Tynedale based project??
The morning after I finished writing this piece I received the newsletter for CAN, Community Action Northumberland, and was delighted to spot the article below::
Haltwhistle selected to bid for funds
CAN has been providing project officer support to Haltwhistle Partnership for over 2 years. In this role, discussions have taken place with the County Council over a joint approach to regeneration & community development in the town. This resulted in a bid to the 'Place Based Social Action Fund' - a joint initiative between Big Lottery and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS).
The fund's purpose is to support closer working between the statutory and voluntary sectors in specific communities and to "provide support and funding to enable local partnerships to identify, map and address local priorities through social action". Only one bid could be endorsed in each local authority area and the Haltwhistle bid was selected for this endorsement by Northumberland County Council.
If successful, this would result in a small initial grant together with consultancy support to help Haltwhistle Partnership formulate a coordinated strategy for the town. There would then be an opportunity to bid for £240,000 over 3 years to help ensure the strategy is implemented.
The outcome of the bid will be known in February so all our fingers are crossed. Even if unsuccessful, however, Haltwhistle Partnership and the County Council are committed to working together closely to address the community's needs.