Current initiatives include:-
The Renewabel Energy Working Group have so far held an Eco Fair to share energy saving hints and tips to help residents reduce their energy usage and more events are being planned. If anyone is interested in free training to help deliver energy advice in the community on a voluntary basis, please contact our Chairman, Julie Gibbon. We are looking for 2 people willing to share this role.
Borderlands Place Programme
Through the Borderlands Place Programme Northumberland County Council intend to target investment in places that will help boost economic activity across the region, recognising the importance of smaller rural towns to the local economy. Haltwhistle is part of this programme and is developing a Town Investment Plan to be able to secure up to £3m of investment from the Borderlands Place Programme.
A Haltwhistle Board has been set up to work with Northumberland County Council with respect to this opportunity. The Board includes representatives from Northiumberland County Council, Haltwhistle Town Council, Haltwhistle Partnership, Haltwhistle Chamber of Trade, Young & Sweet, Haltwhistle Swimming and Leisure Centre, Hadrain's Wall World Heritage Site, Berry Global, Agma and Kilfrost.
A public consualtion took place from 4th to 25th April 2022 with almost 350 individual responses. The data has been analysed and the report can be found here.
During May 2022 a group of local people took part in an online course run by Northumbria University tl learn all about staying safe online. The course covered passwords, scams, viruses and digital legacy. The idea is for participants to put intop practice what they learnt and to cascde the knowledge to their friends and family. Some of those taking part had a good knowledge of cybersecurity and others very little but everyone found it of great benefit. It is hoped to run some social events later in the year to share the information more widely. If you are interested in becoming a CyberGuardian yourself please contact our Chairman, Julie Gibbon for details.
Plastic Recycling - This project has now ended. A tonne of plastic has been collected and we will soon take delivery of some benches.
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.
We thank everyone who helped collect plastic. It is hoped to re-start the project in the future subject to overcoming some of the problems encountered in the trial project.
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 two thirds of the £80,000 has been allocated to 11 projects involving 9 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, a part time community development worker has been employed for 2 years to deliver self sustaining projects. The iinitial focus of the 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. The latest information can be found here.
Haltwhistle Renewal Energy Working Group
This group has been formed as a result of the Heat from Mineworkings 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). We are delighted to share the news that we have been awarded RCEF Stage 2 funding to further the feasibility work with resepct to putting PV on the Berry factory roof, Hillside, the Young & Sweet youth centre and the Swimming & Leisure Centre. The final report will be due by the end of March 2023.
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
This project is currently on hold due to the economic climate at the moment.
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. Meanwhile the NCC Communities Together team have set up a Community Hub on the first floor of the building.
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
This project supports older people in Haltwhistle and the surrounding area to socialise. There is a Weekly 'Drop-In' on a Tuesday morning between 10.00a.m. - 12.00 noon in the Methodist Hall when hot drinks and biscuits are served. There is also a monthly lunch club. 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. 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. Our thanks to Ellen and the volunteers who run these sessions and to Haltwhistle Town Council for their financial support
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 and tubs at the 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. In addition to the trips monthly session are run at Hillside on Park Avenue where participants engage in an activity, chat and much laughter then share lunch together. The group meet every 2 weeks.
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 over the last 5 years by Northumberland National Park, the James Knott Trust, Greggs Foundation, National Lottery Awards for All, Northern Rail and Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership. The project is proving to be very successful and the Partnership is seeking long term funding to secure its future.
We are delighted that the Community Foundation's Vital Northumberland (Community First) Fund is funding the project until March 2023 along with donations from the public and local fundraising.
A video about the project can be found here.