Current initiatives include:-
The Haltwhistle Partnership and South Tyne Sustainability are working with the Berry factory at Plenmeller to recycle no. 2 HDPE plastic locally. Since it is essential that the plastic is clean and label free with no tops, no residue of any foil around the top, a team of volunteers are sharing this information with community groups and all initial contributions are being carefully checked.
For every tonne of plastic collected we will receive goods from the Plaswood range. Plaswood is another Berry company using recycled HDPE to make outdoor furniture including fencing, litter bins, decking, picnic benches, planters, seats etc.
Potential Mini Mill Project
Since there is currently little or no benefit to selling sheep fleece, research is being undertaken into the feasibility of setting up a mini wool processing mill in Haltwhistle.
Karbon Community Fund for Haltwhistle
The Partnership is managing this fund on behalf of Karbon Homes and a steering group of local people are involved in its distribution. So far almost half of the £80,000 has been allocated to 7 projects involving 6 organisations and many volunteers.
Community Climate Action Plan
A Community Climate Action Plan for Haltwhistle and district has now been submitted to Northumberland County Council as part of the Community Climate Action Pilot Project. You can view the plan which was written by NCC with project detail provided by the Haltwhistle Partnership and partner organisations here.
Innovative Ebike hub at Haltwhistle Station
The Haltwhistle Partnership is supporting an innovative Ebike hub on their land by the Water Tower at Haltwhistle Station. The project is being run by the Rural Design Centre with support from the Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership (TVCRP) and funded by a number of partners.
Community Development Projects - Haltwhistle Growing Together
Funded by the Karbon Haltwhistle Community Fund and the Haltwhistle Partnership, two part time community development workers have been employed for 2 years to deliver self sustaining projects. The iinitial focus of their work will be to create a community allotment accessible to all in the garden at Hillside on Park Avenue (bottom of the school drive) where Young and Sweet are located.
Haltwhsitle Renewal Energy Working Group
This group has been formed as a result of the Heat from Moneworkings project. The purpose of the group is to help progress renewable energy projects and low carbon initiatives in the common interest of residents of Haltwhistle and its surrounding parishes. Initially the group will focus on taking forward the findings of the RCEF feasibility study (see below).
Heat from Mine workings
The Haltwhistle Partnership is delighted to be supporting South Tyne Sustainability (STS) and the Haltwhistle Swimming and Leisure Centre (HSLC) in facilitating HSLC to gain funding from the Governemnt's new Rural Communities Energy Fund (RCEF) for a feasibility study into extracting heat from the mineworkings that lie under Haltwhistle. A grant of £40,000 has been received for the first phase of the feasibility and the project has now reported. As a result funding for further phases of work is being sought and a Renewable Energy Working Group formed.
Housing Project Collaboration
The Haltwhistle Partnership is working with the Rural Design Centre and the National Innovation Centre for the Rural Economy (NICRE), to explore potential sites within Haltwhistle where possible residential development could take place principally to serve the needs of older people. As a result, the Future Homes Alliance has agreed to look at a rural demonstrator project in Haltwhistle. The Future Homes Alliance, led by Newcastle University and Karbon Homes, is currently progressing a lifetime homes scheme in Newcastle. Funding is being sought to work with local residents and partners in Haltwhistle to design a potential scheme
Zero Waste Shop
The Partnership is supporting the setting up of a Zero Waste Shop with the help of Another Weigh (Penrith), Northumberland County Council, South Tyne Sustainability (STS) and volunteers. Funding for the set up and volunteer Directors for a new not for profut company are being sought. For more information contact the Chairman, Julie Gibbon.
A zero-waste hub in Haltwhistle could offer the following:
1. Food and non-food products for sale similar, though a narrower range, to Another Weigh in Penrith
2. An opportunity for local produce, free from packaging, to also be sold – potentially from both local producers and local residents. A maximum distance travelled could be applied to local produce to ensure it is truly local and not contributing additional food miles.
3. A recycling hub for certain materials. This could include specific plastics for potential recycling at RPC, generating a financial return, as well as glass jars and bottles for use in the shop and recycling.
4. An information hub for the town, expanding on the current provision by the Partnership.
The objectives of a Haltwhistle Zero-Waste Hub would be:
• Provide an additional active offer to Haltwhistle Main Street, complementing existing retailers, drawing more people to the town (residents and visitors) and retaining spend locally
• Provide an income stream for the Partnership
• Generate employment and volunteering opportunities
• Provide a focus for sustainability across Haltwhistle
• Encourage recycling and reduce the use of packaging
• Create a higher profile for Haltwhistle Partnership
The ground floor of Westbourne House, currently occupied by the Partnership, provides an opportunity in the heart of the town to accommodate such a Zero-Waste Hub. Space could be retained within the layout for a Partnership desk to be maintained at the rear of the premises so that the Partnership could continue to provide the information service currently offered and older people would still be able to access the services available.
Mechanics Institute Building
The Partnership is working with Northumberland County Council to assess the feasibility and costs of operating the building and the uses to which it could be put to enable it to be run sustainably.
Rural Transport - partnering with the Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership (TVCRP) and the Hadrian’s Wall Partnership (HWP) in offering Haltwhistle and its surrounding area as a test area for innovative solutions to the issues surrounding rural transport. Currently involved in the Connected Places Catapult AsSeTs project, funded by the DfT and using mobile phone data to Assess Sustainable Transport Solutions for Rural Mobility.
Community Place Making and Transport Planning
Our Future Places and Journeys Project - partnering with TVCRP and HWP on a Royal College of the Arts and Transport Planning Society pilot project to enable local people to be more involved in the process of change and development in the communities where they live and work. Phase 1 of this project has now reported and you are welcome to contact our Chairman Julie Gibbon for a copy.
As a follow on to this project local businesses have been invited to contribute to a further study gathering information on how rural enterprise can help communities and businesses to thrive - socially, economically and environmentally.
Older People's Project
During the Covid pandemic our Drop In and Lunch Club activities are suspended however, Ellen, our Older Peopla's Project Officer is keeping in regular phone contact with our elderly population and we are providing assistance in any way we can. In December 2020 Ellen and her team of volunteers arranged for a Christmas meal to be cooked and delivered, along with activity packs to 150 elderly residents in the district. Our thanks to Ellen and the volunteers, Community Action Northumberland for funding the meals, Active Northumberland in association with the NHS for the physical activity resources and Age Concern for the activity books and birdboxes all of which were delivered with the meals.
Usually the project supports older people in Haltwhistle and the surrounding area to socialise and have lunch together once a month, this takes place on the first Thursday of the month and is held in the Masonic Hall. If you wish to attend you must contact Ellen at the office to book your meal. There is a Weekly 'Drop-In' on a Tuesday morning between 10.00a.m. - 12.00noon, this is held in the Methodist Hall. In addition trips are also organised such as to pantomimes, day visits or the annual holiday to Scarborough. Special lunches and teas are organised thrioughout the year as well as a' Christmas Day Special' which is held on Christmas Day 10.00a.m. - 4.00p.m. (in the Methodist Hall) and this is open to everyone. Volunteers provide a hot three course meal at lunch time and a light tea in the afternoon.
In 2019 the partnership completed refurbishment of the 5 flats at Hardware House which are above and behind the Centre of Britain Army Surplus Store in the Market Place.
Behind the Partnership Office at Westbourne House is our community garden. Each Wednesday a group of volunteers meet to work in and enjoy the garden. The gardeners also look after various other areas of the town including the beds at the bottom of Lanty's Lonnen, the beds by the library and the large containers at the entrance to the railway station. They have also been involved in planting trees at various locations around the town. Through this project the Partnership also supports events held by South Tyne Sustainability and the town's Haltwhistle in Bloom entries.
Zig Zag Project
Targeting people who feel isolated due to disability, unemployment, mental health or other issues, ‘Zigzag Days’ is being coordinated by Haltwhistle Partnership and will put on minibus trips to visit beauty spots and nature reserves, sites of cultural or historical significance, and other places of interest in the Northumberland National Park and North Peninnes AONB. The day out will include a visit to nearby cafe/tea room for refreshments.
Zigzag Days is free of charge to participants although a small donation towards the costs is appreciated. Individuals also pay for any admission fee (know in advance) and their own refreshments purchased during the day.
The project is specifically designed to help people who are:
unemployed and/or in receipt of Disability Living Allowance and/or with long term mental health issues living in South Tynedale with no or limited access to a car. Zigzag Days has been generously supported by Northumberland National Park, the James Knott Trust, Greggs Foundation, National Lottery Awards for All, Northern Rail and Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership. The group meet every 2 weeks. The project is proving to be very successful and the Partnership is seeking long term funding to secure its future.
A video about the project can be found here.