Councillor Henri Murison, David Slater (Director of Environment & Regeneration, Newcastle City Council), Pam Briggs (Chair, Ouseburn Trust), Sue Bright (Chair, Ouseburn Futures). Photo by John Hipkin.
Ouseburn was in the news today* as Newcastle City Council formally handed over ownership of the area’s regeneration plan to Ouseburn Futures. The photograph above shows Councillor Henri Murison; David Slater, Director of Environment & Regeneration for Newcastle City Council; Pam Briggs, Chair, The Ouseburn Trust; Sue Bright, Chair of Ouseburn Futures Coordinating Group at the signing event at the Toffee Factory in Ouseburn [photographer: John Hipkin].
Local businesses and groups are set to oversee the regeneration of the Ouseburn Valley, in a transfer of powers from Newcastle City Council.
The council will devolve ownership of the area’s regeneration plan and associated funds to Ouseburn Futures; an independent body formed last summer to drive progress in the area with local businesses, organisations and individuals at the helm.
As a successor to the old Ouseburn Management Board, Ouseburn Futures will focus on improving the social, economic and physical aspects of the Valley in partnership with Newcastle City Council and other groups with interests in the Valley.
A small regeneration fund will also be handed over, to be administered by Ouseburn Futures with help from the Ouseburn Trust, with an agreement to use the funds to further develop the area’s facilities and reputation as a place where creative companies come to do business.
Councillor Henri Murison, Cabinet Member for Quality of Life, said: “The devolution of powers and funds to local organisations makes sense in the context of the area’s ongoing regeneration.
“The city council has helped bring these organisations together with a shared vision for the future of this area. So much has already been achieved in the last 15 years to transform the post-industrial Ouseburn into a much-loved destination for culture, leisure and business, while building on the area’s unique character. The council is open to working in new ways to keep the improvements coming – and we envisage a clear role for Ouseburn Futures to drive the future phases of regeneration with the council as an equal partner. Who better to look after the future of the area than the people who already live and work here?”
Sue Bright, Chair Ouseburn Futures, said: “This is an important milestone for all those who have been involved in nurturing and creating this unique neighbourhood in our city. We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the support of Newcastle City Council and The Ouseburn Trust and the hard work of the many businesses, groups, individuals and others who have been involved over the years in reaching this point in the regeneration of Ouseburn.
We hope that this new group, Ouseburn Futures, will continue to attract new members (people living or working in the Ouseburn Valley, or those who visit it) who want to be involved in shaping its future through getting involved in our themed groups. Details of future themed meetings can be found on our website: www.ouseburnfutures.org.uk where you will also find out more about what we do and other ways to get in touch.”
- *Hugh Macknight, ‘Newcastle Council’s Transfer of Ouseburn Regeneration Plan,’ Sky Tyne & Wear, 27th February, 2013.
- *‘Locals take charge of Ouseburn’s Future,’ Newcastle City Council, 1st March 2013.