about Ouseburn Trust

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(03147853) in January 1996 and later as a registered charity (1081657).

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

Ouseburn Trust and Ouseburn Futures Convergence

In 2017 Ouseburn Trust and Ouseburn Futures agreed to join together as one organisation 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 and together will form a single and strong voice for the Ouseburn Valley.

  • Two members of Ouseburn Futures Co-ordinating Group have joined the Ouseburn Trust BoardOuseburn Futures Ouseburn Trust logos
  • Two of the theme groups have become sub groups of the Trust while the other four will be supported as independent valley-wide forums.
  • Ouseburn Futures members have a year's free membership of the combined organisation.
  • The Ouseburn Trust brand has been adjusted to express the convergence, adding the strapline 'Ouseburn's Future'.
about Ouseburn Futures

Ouseburn Futures was formed in 2012 by a group of dedicated volunteers who wanted to see the aims and objectives contained in the 2012 Ouseburn Regeneration Plan implemented using community empowerment principles. Members felt that following the closure of Newcastle City Council’s Regeneration team office in the Ouseburn Valley, it could take a more active role. In March 2013, Sue Bright, Chair of Ouseburn Futures, signed an agreement with Newcastle City Council to give Ouseburn Futures the responsibility for overseeing the implementation of the Ouseburn Regeneration Plan.

Ouseburn Futures set up a number of Theme Groups and representatives from each of the different subgroups formed an over-arching Co-ordinating Group, together with others such as local councillors, and two residents or businesses from each of Byker and Ouseburn wards. The Trust was represented on the Co-ordinating Group by the Trust’s Chief Officer, Chair, and another member of the Trust Board. Ouseburn Futures Co-ordinating Group met on a quarterly basis with the City Council to discuss progress with the Regeneration Plan and other matters.

The role of the Ouseburn Futures Co-ordinating Group was to:

  • Support the theme groups, help them to coordinate and provide strategic direction
  • Manage the budget handed over to Ouseburn Futures by the Council for key elements of the Ouseburn Regeneration Plan, and look for other investment
  • To develop and maintain relationships with outside bodies including the City Council

The Theme Groups were formed from Ouseburn businesses, organisations and individuals, to take the regeneration of the area forward, to solve key issues, support each other and present a united front to outside bodies including the local council.  The Theme Groups were:

  • Arts & Creative Industries
  • Business
  • Developers’ Forum
  • Environment
  • Planning & Development
  • River Users’ Group
  • Valley Events

For the last five years they have been passionate about engaging residents, people working in the Valley, people coming to learn in the Valley, visitors and Valley enthusiasts, in influencing what happens here and shaping the regeneration process.  Converging with Ouseburn Trust at this time offers an exciting opportunity to continue this work within an established organisation committed to similar objectives.