Local people were concerned about the changes to the East Quayside and Ouseburn in the 1980s and early 90s. The Byker City Farm had started and the development of The Cluny and 36 Lime Street as artists' studios, but many of the buildings were very run down and neglected. In 1993 a fire at Maynards Toffee Factory brought the issue to a turning point - demolish or regenerate?

The Ouseburn Trust was first mooted in 1993 and progressed through 1994, becoming a Development Trust in 1995 and registered as a limited company in January 1996 and later as a registered charity.

The Trust has pursued the mixed-use regeneration of the Valley as an urban village and the preservation of its heritage. In 1996 Single Regeneration Budget funding was won by the Ouseburn Partnership, led by the Trust, and a five year programme of regeneration and heritage development followed.

Since that period the Ouseburn Trust has owned and managed a number of the properties improved, and developed a variety of heritage and community engagement projects, including managing the award-winning Victoria Tunnel since 2011.

To mark the twentieth anniversary of the Trust's formal incorporation a short history of the Ouseburn Trust has been produced and can be downloaded here History of the Ouseburn Trust 1996-2016