Trust Life: news from Amble Development Trust #137

Posted on 02nd December 2022 | in Amble Development Trust , Community

As 2023 approaches, we look at some of the Trust’s achievements and how supportive Amble’s community has been in embracing the changes that are making Amble known worldwide.

Fourways 2 is home to Amble Development Trust

Julia Aston, Director of Amble Development Trust says, “I hope readers of Trust Life find the news interesting, sometimes controversial, but a whole generation of young people weren’t born when the Trust was established. Amble has gone through massive regeneration that has injected life blood into the community but it cannot become complacent; looking back at what was, and what is now, achieves sound forward planning ensuring prosperity for this, and future generations.”

Historically, Amble was a hub for the coal and fishing industries. The recession of the 1980s created a need for regeneration for Amble to prosper. A civic regeneration study initiated by Alnwick District Council resulted in the creation of Amble Development Trust in 1994, with the remit to secure the vital funding necessary to deliver Amble’s regeneration plans.

The Trust continues in securing the necessary funding that has spearheaded the success in regenerating the town.

Amble Development Trust comprises a management committee and staff with elected members and representatives from Amble community, businesses, Warkworth Harbour Commission, Northumberland County Council and Amble Town Council. An AGM is held each year with members of the public invited to attend.

The Trust is operated on strict business lines with all of its development plans agreed beforehand and its expenditure strictly maintained within budget and reported in the Trust’s independently audited annual report and accounts.

Julia Aston says, “Questions have sometimes been raised about the projects the Trust runs, and that the funding could be better spent elsewhere. The Trust is a not-for-profit regeneration charity. Its funding is always specific, and ringfenced for those identified projects. It secures its own finance through grants and donations from a variety of agencies including the Coastal Community Fund, Arts Council England, Northumberland Strategic Partnership and Northumberland County Council.”

The Trust’s past and recent successes are recorded on the Trust’s website: The social media accounts encourage healthy feedback from the resident community and visitors.

To date, the Trust has successfully achieved many of its objectives, some not as visible as others, but all valuable to the regeneration of Amble. An early example was the excellent transformation of the town square in 2001.

Amble Harbour Village

In 2011, following the closure of the Cooperative non-food store, the Trust developed the building into retail units with affordable housing above. It supports a number of social enterprises and entrepreneurs. In 2007 the Trust took over ownership of Amble Welfare, maintaining a well managed recreational space.

The Harbour Village, with its eye catching Pods, seafood centre and lobster hatchery was opened in 2016 and, in 2022, the community welcomed the national bird sculpture trail, or “the Bord Waalk” in Amble dialect, funded by the Coastal Communities Fund, Arts Council England and Northumberland County Council.

Big Puffin by Ben Greenwood is one of the Bord Waalk sculptures

“The funding of arts projects during economic downturns can be contentious, but look at the benefits of linking business with education and art,” explains Paul Rigby, chair of the Trust and ADT Northumberland Ltd the wholly owned trading subsidiary of Amble Development Trust.

Paul explained that businesses can benefit from publicity generated by the trail, and local pupils have worked directly with some of the artists, strengthening skills and discovering that a work of art is not only a creation of someone’s inspiration, but also the end product in a process, whether on the factory floor or in the artist’s studio. The whole project has taught them about ideas creation, design, planning, budgetary control, right through to the manufacture of the sculpture.

The “Bord Waalk” has placed Amble well and truly on the artistic map and is an outstanding example of community involvement in an iconic project.
Here’s to a vibrant 2023!

Jennifer Dunn
Trustee, Amble Development Trust

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