Trust Life: Aug 2011

Posted on 11th August 2011 | in Community

Here we are again and how time flies. By the time you read this we will be into August.Hopefully by then the rain will have stopped and the sun shining once again!

Well the covers have at long last been removed from the old Co-Op building and I hope you find that all the hard work has made a bit of a difference. Staff and Management at the Trust are really happy with the development and believe it adds to the continued transformation of Queen Street. The internal works are also coming to an end so we will be working on moving our jam factory in as soon as possible. We will also be trying to secure tenants for the additional two units, so hopefully we should be able to call the building something other than the Co-Op soon!

I’m sure you will also have noticed that the skateboard park is complete. Our official opening was held on July 22nd. I am told by those in the know that it is ‘better than could have been hoped for, absolutely fantastic’. I’ll take their word for it as I’ve not tried it, yet!!

Our thanks to the fantastic young people who have worked so hard to help bring the skateboard project to fruition. Some have been involved since the original park was dismantled and removed. They have worked on the design, set up a steering group, helped with consultation, spoken with funders, and organised the open day – they are a wonderful group and we are proud to be associated with them.

So far it is being well used, but I come back to my grumble of the last issue…put your rubbish and litter in the bins. It is your responsibility to keep the area tidy not someone else’s!

Our AGM took place on July 13th and was once again well attended, so thank you to our staunch and loyal supporters. As well as going through our accounts and projects, we had a presentation from Nick Spurr on business diversification, from boat building to ice cream.

And speaking about business diversification, Amble Business Club continues to meet regularly and is looking at how to market Amble and the fantastic range of activities we have, to tourists. Have you ever stopped to think about what you can actually do in and around the town? With activities ranging from the physical and strenuous, surfing, cycling, boarding and canoeing, to the more relaxed bird watching and beachcombing with all sorts in between. These are the most obvious ones but if you look a little further there are opportunities to do courses with a blacksmith, gaming, paddle boarding and go carting. You can even have your feet nibbled by hungry fish while your children run off their energy. All this and more available in a small town like Amble. I wonder how many locals know what facilities we have, and if we don’t know, how can tourists be expected to? We should be proud of having so many independent businesses. Many of the positive comments we hear from visitors relate to the uniqueness of Queen Street and not being another clone town. If we are to increase footfall to make our individual businesses sustainable we need to get the message out there.

Over the last few months, working with the Town Council and Anna Kruk from NCC we have completed a range of small projects around the town. Lighting posts and bollards have been given a lick of paint, additional signage is to be erected, picnic tables and benches will be placed on the Little Shore and we are investigating new lighting for the pier. The cobbles on Queen Street will be sorted out along with some paving stones and the damaged cobbles around the gnomon will also be replaced.

Cllr Craig Weir and his fantastic volunteers have made a big impact on the town with the various planting schemes they have carried out. I’m sure you will have noticed as they brighten up the entrances, street and town square. I don’t think he will mind me saying that everyone is welcome to join in. You can do as much or as little as you can manage, but the difference that bit of help makes is measurable.

Well I signed off with ‘hope the sun continues to shine until we speak again’ last time. It didn’t but here’s hoping it returns soon. Enjoy the summer and all those activities you decide to participate in. Me, I’m donning my shin and elbow pads!

Julia Aston
Director,  Amble Development Trust

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