Current shorter term initiatives include:-
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 awarded for the first phase of the feasibility and the project is now underway with an energy audit of HSLC and research into the mines underneath and adjacent to the centre.
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.
Longer Term Projects
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 issuesliving 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. Trips take place every other Friday. 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.