During 2016-17 representatives of the Board of Ouseburn Trust and the Co-ordinating Group of Ouseburn Futures met to discuss the convergence of the two organisations and how to incorporate and build upon the strengths of each and the skills, expertise and enthusiasm of their members, volunteers and staff. Both organisations are committed to the same goals – delivering the Ouseburn Regeneration Plan objectives.

In July 2017 the managing bodies and memberships of both Ouseburn Trust and Ouseburn Futures agreed to join together as one organisation, a single and strong voice for the Ouseburn Valley.

The name and legal structure of the Ouseburn Trust will not change, and the focus of the Trust’s priorities for the Valley will continue, enhanced by the very positive work that has been happening in the Valley through Ouseburn Futures.

While the Trust’s governing articles can accommodate this convergence, there will be other challenges and adaptions over the next few months, which we will address as a combined organisation. 

One of the first steps was to increase representation on the Board and at the Ouseburn Trust’s AGM the Chair (Sue Bright) and Secretary (Dale Bolland) of Ouseburn Futures were elected as Trustees. Sue and Dale are both well known in the Valley and are themselves also Life Members of the Trust.  Taking account of existing Trustees as well this means that 5 of the 12 current Trustees were also members of Ouseburn Futures Co-ordinating Group.

Sue Bright comments “Ouseburn Futures volunteers have worked tirelessly over the past five years to continue to shape the regeneration of the Lower Ouseburn Valley.  Converging with Ouseburn Trust at this time offers an exciting opportunity for us to continue this work within an established organisation committed to similar objectives.”

We also warmly welcomed members of Ouseburn Futures to a year of free membership of the combined organisation. The principles of membership will be reviewed during this time.

In order to properly recognise this convergence and encapsulate the spirit of both bodies we have made changes to the Trust’s brand as shown above. 

Two of Ouseburn Futures theme groups will become sub groups within the Trust - environment and planning & development - while support will continue to be provided to the other theme groups as independent valley-wide forums

  • Arts and Creative Industries
  • Valley Events
  • River Users
  • Business Forum

Tony Gates explained his commitment to the convergence “When I became Chair of the Trust last year and talked to Trustees, members and partners I outlined the refreshed priorities for the Trust and our desire to explore the potential for a single unified voice for the Valley. I believe the convergence with Ouseburn Futures represents a significant achievement in this respect.

“This is a turning point in the lives of both organisations, and an opportunity to move forward as an effective, united champion for the lower Ouseburn Valley. As Chair and on behalf of the Board of Trustees of our now combined organisation I invite you to give it your full support.”