Northumberland Uplands LEADER

Northumberland Uplands LEADER helps provide vital funding for rural development projects, which aid the local economy and create jobs.

Northumberland Uplands LEADER helps provide vital funding for rural development projects, which aid the local economy and create jobs.

Find out more here. 
Welcome to the Northumberland Uplands, a rich, cultural landscape running from the River Tyne in the south, through some of England’s deepest rural areas to the border with Scotland in the north.

The area covers the whole of Northumberland National Park, the dark skies of Kielder Water and Forest Park and the most visited and dramatic parts of the Hadrian’s Wall UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This remote area is characterised by the moors and grasslands of the Cheviot Hills, with their ancient hill forts and pure rivers and the wild valleys of the North Tyne and Redesdale. Northumberland Uplands LEADER programme The Northumberland LEADER programme is open for applications and will provide grants to small businesses, farmers, foresters and communities for projects that create jobs and grow the rural economy.

 
More information about eligibility and the application process can be found in the applicant's handbook (downloadable below).

If you would like to complete an expression of interest, please email gillian.cowell@northumberland.gov.uk and she will send you a form.
Northumberland Uplands LEADER helps provide vital funding for rural development projects, which aid the local economy and create jobs.

Encouraged by LEADER principles to link with other LAGs across the EU, NULAG has developed close working relationships with LEADER Linné in southern Sweden.  


In the previous programme they had a joint youth project (see Broadening Horizons brochure below) and links between forestry businesses, fishing enterprises and handicraft initiatives.  

The local action group maintain contact with LEADER Linné Smaland and are seeking opportunities to work together in the coming programme.

Downloads
The Northumberland Uplands Local Action Group (NULAG) uses the LEADER approach to promote bottom-up, local decision making. LEADER is an area-based approach that ensures development is appropriate for that area.

LEADER views local people as the main asset of rural areas and empowers them to decide what is best suited to their own environment, culture, working traditions and skills.

The overall goal for LEADER is to improve the quality of life in rural areas. Read more about the LEADER approach.

Each LEADER area has a local action group (LAG), made up of local people. The LAG has the task of compiling a local development strategy and making decisions about the different projects to be financed in order to deliver that strategy.

NULAG produced their latest local development strategy in 2014, which is now in place from 2014-2020. This new strategy guides the LAG in making funding decisions in the new LEADER programme.

Projects supported by NULAG must be delivered in the Northumberland Uplands.
 
Some of the projects that we have supported

Farm Productivity

 

John Goodfellow - mobile sheep handling

A grant of £3,643 was awarded

The grant was put towards the purchase of mobile sheep handling yard which will bring benefits in terms of productivity and animal welfare.

 

JT Goodfellow & Son Egg Packing Machine

A grant of £9,760 was awarded

The funding was used towards purchase and installation of an egg packing unit to speed up collection and date stamping of eggs produced through a new 16,000 layer unit.

 

G Herdman - mobile sheep handling   

A grant of £5,374 was awarded

Improving the productivity of a sheep enterprise by investing in handling, weighing and recording equipment that gives the business the opportunity to increase output, reduce cost and improve the health and welfare status of the flock

 

R Jeffreys - improving farm productivity  

A grant of £3,998 was awarded

The grant helped to improve the productivity of a sheep enterprise by investing in handling, weighing

and recording equipment.

 

Northumbrian Wagyu

A grant of £3,338 was awarded

LEADER funding helped purchase a refrigerated storage unit, packaging equipment, develop a website and design a leaflet to enable the creation of an on-farm based Wagyu beef sales and distribution facility

 

Organic Free Range Egg Production  

A grant of £51,514 was awarded

Bainbridge Farms received funding towards the creation of a new organic free range egg layer enterprise providing them with a new income stream for their farm business.

 

Wittonstone - mobile sheep handling  

A grant of £3,248 was awarded

The grant was put towards the purchase of mobile sheep handling yard which will bring benefits in terms of productivity and animal welfare.

 

Support for SME development - farm diversification

 

Corbridge Business Premises  

A grant of £43,186 was awarded

LEADER funding helped this project to convert and expand a redundant former workshop in Corbridge to create business accommodation with access to high speed broadband, parking and town services.

 

Expansion of Doddington Cheese Business  

A grant of £29,310 was awarded

The LEADER grant helped Doddington Cheese expand their business by purchasing larger and more modern cheese making manufacturing equipment to enable manufacture of greater volumes of cheese.

 

First & Last Brewery Installation

A grant of £16,284 was awarded

Red and Sam Kellie were able to use LEADER funding to set up and equip a new micro-brewery business based in outbuildings attached to the Bird in Bush pub in Elsdon.

 

Girsonfield Stud & Racing  Expansion

A grant of £9,036 was awarded

Susan Corbett received funding to develop the facilities to enable more horses to be housed and trained at Girsonfield.

 

Hexhamshire Brewery  

A grant of £11,872 was awarded

Mark Brooker applied to LEADER to help him relocate and improve the existing brewery into buildings adjacent to the Dipton Mill Inn.  Funding was put towards the purchase and installation of a new 5 barrel brewery, and additional works to install a package sewage treatment.

 

S&J Smith Timber Haulage

A grant of £2,672 was awarded

The grant funding was used towards the purchase of Central Tyre Inflation technology to be installed on a truck and timber trailer

 

Twice Brewed Brewery  

A grant of £69,507 was awarded

The funding was put towards building and equipping a new microbrewery attached to the existing Twice Brewed Inn public house.  

 

Rural Tourism

 

Blossom Plantation Pods  

A grant of £72,905 was awarded

The LEADER grant allowed Nina Mickleburgh to diversify an existing holiday cottage business by installing seven glamping pods surrounding a pond near Charlton Hall.

 

GlamPods Northumberland  

A grant of £45,768 was awarded

The funding enabled Deb Walton to establish a new Glamping business on a rural hill farm consisting of three luxury pods with built in bathroom and kitchens with a BBQ hut at Troughend West Tofts, Otterburn

 

Establishing Hadrian’s Holiday Tours

A grant of £19,860 was awarded  

Nigel and Catherine Jarvis were able to put the grant funding towards provision of two luxury glamping pods in the garden of the former Four Wynds Guest House.  The addition of these pods will enable them to provide bespoke accommodation for people attending Hands on Latin tours as well as other visitors visiting the Hadrian’s Wall area.

 

Kielder Imaging Observatory

A grant of £85,996 was awarded

Having benefited from a LEADER grant in the previous programme, KOAS successfully applied to further develop and expand Kielder Observatory through construction of a single storey building housing the new Observatory with slide-off roof, an entrance porch, a warm room and coffee servery.  This addition will enable the Observatory to accommodate greater numbers and improve the overall visitor experience.

 

Prendwick Farm Shepherd Huts

A grant of £32,797 was awarded

Jamie & Nicola Wood used LEADER funding towards the purchase and installation of 3 high quality bespoke shepherd huts on their farm at Prendwick.

 

Rural Services

 

Falstone Play Park    

A grant of £14,404 was awarded

The Matthew Ridley Memorial Hall used the funding to help purchase and install an outdoor multi gym in the existing village park in Falstone which will benefit local users and visitors to the area.

 

Upgrading of Pool Plant Room   

A grant of £82,732 was awarded

Funding from LEADER helped Haltwhistle Swimming & Leisure upgrade the equipment in the pool plant room including boilers and a chemical dosing system.  The benefits have already been felt in terms of customer feedback and increased footfall in the Summer season 2018.

 

Hillside Project   

A grant of £14,383 was awarded

The grant funding enabled the Young & Sweet charity to bring a redundant building (formerly a care home) back into use as a youth and community centre in Haltwhistle.

 

Culture and Heritage

 

Creation of Cascade on Capability Brown’s Lake at Kirkharle

A grant of £5,548 was awarded

The funding was used to help create a cascade and undertake associated groundworks in the lake within the grounds of Kirkharle.  The works were completed within the bicentennial year of Capability Brown’s birth and mean that the two separate lakes now form a linked serpentine which reflects the original plans that Mr Brown drew up for a lake at Kirkharle.

 

Forestry

 

Estate Forestry Services    

A grant of £6,609 was awarded

James Petty was able to put the grant towards purchase of equipment to enable his business to scale up firewood operations.

 

Redeswood Forest Services

A grant of £40.460 was awarded

Redeswood used the funding towards the purchase of a second-hand excavator which was then fitted with forestry guarding and a harvesting head and also purchase a second-hand forest tractor.  This equipment will enable them to harvest small woodlands which will expand their business.

 

Woodland Thinnings

A grant of £21,000 was awarded

The grant helped support investment in a second hand tracked excavator and fit out with forestry guarding and a new timber harvesting head.  This equipment will help the company expand its operations and bid for additional contracts.

 

Applicant: Horse Power for Ability

This project saw the opening of a new horse power therapy centre to help people with mobility problems in Northumberland. The business introduced hippotherapy – a specialist physiotherapy intervention using the movement of horses – to the Northumberland Uplands. This innovative new business purchased specialist equipment to help open Horse Power for Ability. The business provides opportunities for care provision in a controlled and unusual setting.
  • one micro business supported
  • one micro enterprise start up
  • one job
  • LEADER grant - £8,389

Applicant: Scarlett and the Spotty Dog

Scarlett and the Spotty Dog has launched as a cakery producing locally and ethically sourced specialist cakes and baked goods, offering something a little different to the market.

This project supported the start up of the bakery by installing a commercial kitchen from which to grow the business and also purchased a delivery van to take deliveries to local shops and farmers markets.
  • one micro business supported
  • one micro enterprise start up
  • one and a half jobs
  • one community/business network
  • LEADER grant - £10,285

Applicant: Moss Peteral Farming Partnership

Moss Peteral Farm has diversified by getting involved in care farming. The farm business has installed a wood fired boiler and central heating system that has enabled suitable accommodation, meaningful work opportunities and respite care to be offered to vulnerable adults with social and care needs.

The farm can accommodate two people at a time, with the length of stay depending on the clients' requirements. The farm is now registered with Northumberland Care Trust who place clients with them through the adult placement carers scheme.
  • one micro business supported
  • one micro enterprise start up
  • LEADER grant - £9,867

Applicant: The Upper Coquetdale Farmers Group

The overall aim of the homegrown protein crops research project is to explore the economic, environmental and ethical performance of a group of upland stock farms in Coquetdale, through the trial growing and use of appropriate legume-based forage crops over a two-year period.

The trial involved planting plots of a farm specific legume forage mix and comparing them with existing hay meadows. Forage growth, animal performance and financial performance are measured to enable feed supply and feed demand to be understood and appropriate feed budgets devised.
  • LEADER grant - £34,820

Applicant: Northumberland Fire & Rescue Service's Youth Firefighters' Association

This project supported the young firefighters' association to establish three new branches in rural Northumberland, based around fire stations in Rothbury, Wooler and Haltwhistle.

Each cadet branch is supported by two retained firefighters who live and work locally and two trained young volunteers and involve young people in decision making and planning. Each branch recruits young people aged 13 to 18.

They participate in a structured, accredited training programme, which leads to a Level 2 BTEC qualification in Fire and Rescue Services in the Community.

Firefighting skills are taught as well as training around health and safety, nutrition, first aid, communications, problem solving and understanding anti-social behaviour. A further station in Amble has been funded by the Coast and Lowlands Local Action Group.
  • 245 training days
  • three community/business networks
  • 12 young people
  • LEADER grant - £26,770
 

Applicant: St Mary the Virgin Church, Longframlington

The Opening Doors project has completed the capital development of a new community room and employed a part-time community co-ordinator to develop the use of the community room and identify and facilitate new projects and services as requested by the locals.

A part-time youth worker is also providing an outreach service to the children and young people of Longframlington and the surrounding area. Now that these services are up and running and have established clear community need they being run by the local community.
  • one job
  • LEADER grant - £26,328

Applicant: Humshaugh Community Ventures Ltd

The villages of Humshaugh and Wall came together to protect their valuable village shop from closure. Facing a real prospect of the final shop in their community closing, local people formed a committee and purchased the lease and took on the day to day management of the shop.

The shop is really important in terms of basic rural service provision so the community got on and did something about its impending closure. The shop has generated enough profit to start recycling funds back to the community through other projects. The new Village Hall commercial grade kitchen has benefitted from this new source of community investment.
  • two micro businesses supported
  • one micro enterprise start up
  • one job
  • five community/business networks
  • six young people
  • LEADER grant - £22,500

Applicant: Glendale Gateway Trust

England’s first eco-museum a museum without walls – was developed by a group of organisations and individuals from the private, voluntary and public sectors.

The idea behind Flodden Eco-Museum is to allow communities, projects, locations and events to retain their individual ownership but to be linked through a single brand, in this case the Battle of Flodden and the 500-year commemoration in 2013.

This project provided various workshops, training days, and a single identity branding for all sorts of local businesses and organisations. This community network ensures a legacy within the area beyond the 500-year commemoration of Flodden in 2013.
  • one micro business supported
  • 41 training days
  • two community/business networks
  • LEADER grant - £24,265

Applicant: Kielder Observatory Astronomical Society

Kielder Observatory Astronomical Society wanted to increase the ability of the general public to visit the observatory. A much broader public access programme has been established by this project allowing many more astronomy sessions to be held.

As a result the project is now self sufficient, generating its own funds through increased numbers of paid visits by the public which also raised public awareness of the observatory and the work of Kielder Observatory Astronomical Society.

An edition of The Sky at Night was filmed here on 15th February 2013.
  • one micro business supported
  • LEADER grant - £50,000

Applicant: Northumberland National Park Authority

This Young Enterprise LEADER Project supported the work of NULAG's Youth Animation Project. The project provided young people with an opportunity to gain enterprise skills through a series of training and business open days.

It also offered the chance to rake part in training aimed at increasing the involvement of young people in work environments. A change maker was also recruited in this project to establish a network of young people.

The network has already voiced the options on life in rural Northumberland to their local MPs.
  • 12 micro businesses
  • three networks
  • 90 young people
  • LEADER grant - £26,928

Applicant: Kirkhale Creative

Kirkharle Creative is a community interest group made up of businesses based at Kirkharle Courtyard. Famous as the birthplace of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, the group wanted to expand Kirkharle’s offer by appealing to families with young children, and has created a children’s play area that draws upon the history of the site as part of its inspiration.

A range of environmentally appropriate play equipment has been installed, along with a sandpit that mimics the shape of the serpentine lake also on site and interpretation boards and games.
  • five businesses supported
  • LEADER grant - £6,721

Applicant: Northumberland National Park Authority

This automatic wildfire detection system project is highly innovative and unique across the UK in managing wildfires. NULAG has supported the purchase and installation of optical and infra-red cameras that are capable of detecting when fires break out in remote areas of Northumberland National Park.

The cameras transmit a signal to a computer containing special software that acts as an early warning system. This project has benefited from links with similar systems in place in several European countries.

Northumberland National Park deliver this project in parallel with the Cheviot Futures project that gives practical advice to land managers on adaptation and climate change.
  • five businesses supported
  • LEADER grant - £59,230
In early September 2014, Northumberland Uplands Local Action Group (NULAG) successfully submitted their new strategy to Defra and were pleased to hear that their bid was successful in November 2014.

The local development strategy (LDS) covers a large part of western rural Northumberland incorporating the Northumberland Uplands and sets priorities for the rural development support we hope to provide from 2015-2020.

The LDS draws together the needs and aspirations of local communities with the government’s priorities for LEADER. Through the consultation events the following six key themes were identified which reflect national priorities:
  • increasing farm productivity
  • micro and small enterprises and diversification
  • rural tourism
  • provision of rural services
  • cultural and heritage activity
  • increasing forestry productivity
The new programme launched in the autumn of 2015 and NULAG is keen to receive applications from Uplands area.

The application process is in two stages, starting with an expression of interest which will be considered by the local action group who will then advise applicants if they can profress to full application.

It is likel7 that the application process will take at least 3-4 months from initial contact through to a funding decision. 

People with ideas for projects or who want to find out more about LEADER funding should contact Gill Cowell, the programme officer, at gillian.cowell@northumberland.gov.uk or phone 01670 623885/07920 184616
 
 The local development strategy (LDS) covers a large part of western rural Northumberland incorporating the Northumberland Uplands and sets priorities for the rural development support we hope to provide from 2015-2020.

The LDS draws together the needs and aspirations of local communities with the government’s priorities for LEADER. Through the consultation events the following six key themes were identified which reflect national priorities:
  • increasing farm productivity
  • micro and small enterprises and diversification
  • rural tourism
  • provision of rural services
  • cultural and heritage activity
  • increasing forestry productivity
The new programme launched in the autumn of 2015 and NULAG is keen to receive applications from Uplands area.

The application process is in two stages, starting with an outline application which will be considered by the local action group who will then advise applicants if they can profress to full application.

It is likelt that the application process will take at least 3-4 months from initial contact through to a funding decision. 

People with ideas for projects or who want to find out more about LEADER funding should contact Gill Cowell, the programme officer, at gillian.cowell@northumberland.gov.uk or phone 07920 184616

Downloads
Northumberland Uplands Local Action Group has drawn its membership from across the uplands to ensure that there is a strong representation from local people who can influence the success of the LEADER approach.

The local action group has an agreed constitution, which includes a statement of culture and values; it is used to ensure consistent good practice and to ask members to work in a manner of mutual respect.
Terry Carroll - Chair
Terry has professional qualifications in town and country planning and rural resources management. He worked for the Northumberland National Park Authority for some 25 years, where he became the deputy chief officer.

He subsequently operated as a  freelance consultant in the field of rural development and as a research fellow at the Centre for Rural Economy at Newcastle University.

He has extensive practical experience of rural planning and land use, environmental conservation, rural micro-businesses and renewable energy, and also of the government institutions, policies and programmes that impact upon these sectors.

He has carried out numerous consultancy assignments in these fields at local, national and international level.

Terry is a director and board member of the Vindolanda Trust.

Stephen Jopling - Vice chair
Born and bred in Northumberland, at least it was Northumberland when I was a lad, it’s been swallowed up by the Newcastle suburbs now. I served 24 years in the Royal Navy as a Marine Engineer, my service included the Falklands War 1982 and the Gulf War 1991.  

Left the Royal Navy in 1997 and joined BP Chemicals, where I worked at Grangemouth in Scotland and eventually transferred to BP Exploration in Baku, Azerbaijan for a 2 year assignment. My engineering position started in projects and took me through operations, first as a competency specialist and finally as a Maintenance Excellence Engineer, the 2-year assignment lasted for over 10 years.

I left BP to set up my own company as a Maintenance Excellence Consultant to the Oil and Gas industry.   
I was lucky enough to be able to retire at 55 and have lived with my wife and young son in the upper North Tyne Valley for the last 10 years.
Interests include: Russian Language, Running, Keep Fit, Boxing Training, Skiing, Writing, The Arts including Ballet.


Tom Johnston
Tom moved to rural north Northumberland in 1986 and worked in many diferent roles before becoming a founder trustee for the Glendale Gateway Trust. Outside of working life, Tom is a volunteer crew member for the Tall Ships Youth Trust.

Tom said: "I was keen to become involved with the LAG as I feel I have learned so much about rural living in the past 15 years.

"The theme I am particularly interested in is 'Provision of Rural Services'. My work with the Glendale Gateway Trust has been all about connecting services to ensure they are sustainable and accessibile in the long term".



Louise Kirkwood
Louise has lived in Northumberland for more than 15 years. She is a parish councillor and an active member of several local community-run organisations.

Louise said: "I am keen to support the LAG because I feel it is important to help local groups and businesses make the best use of available resources in order to keep rural Northumberland very much alive socially and economically through challenging times."



Mike Murray
Although Mike was born and brought up in Northumberland, he spent 15 years running development programmes in Africa, which included various small grant schemes focused on improving infrastructure.

Mike believes that sustainable development in the Northumberland Uplands is community-based and inclusive, requiring a collaboration of the public and private sectors.

 

Barbara Sexon
Barbara is a mechanical engineer who specialised in renewable energy systems.

She has lived in the Coquet Valley for 25 years and in that time has been involved in a number of community organisations.

Barbara believes that for local communities to thrive, active support of the region's small businesses and varied culture and heritage activities is essential




Alistair Cochrane
Originally from Alnwick, Alistair has lived in Northumberland for all of his life and has worked as a Rural Practice Chartered Surveyor in the county for over 25 years.  

He is a Partner in the Property Consultancy Firm, Strutt & Parker, and lives near Wooler.  

He has a good understanding of rural business and environmental issues, agriculture and forestry, together with a strong personal interest in the region’s culture and heritage.  

He is a committee member and former chairman of the North East branch of The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) and is passionate about maintaining and enhancing the socio-economic health of the Northumberland uplands.
Andrew Poad
Born and brought up in Tynedale, Andrew trained at Kirkley Hall and Newton Rigg in Countryside Management whilst working with Northumberland National Park.  

For the last 25 years he has worked for the National Trust in Northumberland and is currently their General Manager for the places they look after along the Wall and in the Tyne Valley.  

In so doing, he has gained a breadth of experience in land management and rural businesses issues in this part of the world.  

Andrew is passionate about his native county and in finding ways to ensure its natural and socio-economic environments remain sustainable in these increasingly uncertain times.

Alan Sharp
Born and bred in Tynedale Alan an associate with Land Factor and manages the Haltwhistle Office and local estates.  

Alan has District Councillor for the Hadrian Ward since 1987 to 2008 when the District Councils were abolished and the County Councillor for the Haydon and Hadrian Ward since 2008.  

He is also a Board member of Northumberland National Park Authority and it is in this capacity that he serves on NULAG.  He is involved in many local committees and is very keen to help the community develop and to improve the facilities for all ages.

“I am very happy to serve on the Uplands Leader Committee to help and promote the local businesses in Northumberland.”

Jeremy Phillipson
Jeremy Phillipson lives in Stocksfield, Northumberland.  He works at Newcastle University as a Professor of Rural Development where he leads research on rural enterprise and policy.  Jeremy is also an adviser to UK government on rural issues.

Cllr Anthony Murray
Anthony Murray is the ward councillor for Wooler and represents Northumberland County Council on the Local Action Group.

Nicola Bell
Nicola lives in Tynedale, with a PhD in rural development, she brings expertise in rural policy and socio-economic development.

 
List of meetings

In 2018 NULAG will meet on:
  • 11th January
  • 8th February
  • 8th March
  • 12th April
  • 9th May
  • 7th June
  • 3rd July
  • 13th August
  • 5th September
  • 4th October
  • 6th November
  • 5th December.  
The agendas and minutes for previous meetings can be found here:
Agendas and Minutes of 2018 NULAG meetings can be found here: