GLENDALE Gateway Trust has been shortlisted for a national award for its pioneering partnership work which safeguarded the library and tourism services in the town.
Action for Market Towns (AMT), a national organisation that champions the cause of small towns, has chosen the Wooler Community Hub project as the winner of its 2012 North of England Partnership and Strategic Working award for the north of England.
The winning projects from five regions – north, south, east, west and Wales – will go forward to the national shortlist and the winner will be announced by historian and television presenter Dr David Starkey in October at a ceremony in Kendal.
Sue Bevan, Action for Market Towns board member and one of the judges, said: “I worked on market town development in Northumberland for many years so I am delighted that the Wooler Community Hub has won this award.
“The project has been realised because of the vision and tenacity of Glendale Gateway Trust, its ability to understand and work effectively within a wider strategic context and its aptitude for working in partnership. The result is a superb facility for the residents of Glendale.”
Glendale Gateway Trust raised funding to extend its community centre and worked in partnership with Northumberland County Council so it could offer library and tourism services from the Cheviot Centre.
By using council and trust staff time efficiently they have been able to triple the library’s opening hours to seven days a week.
As a result, the number of book loans has risen by 20 per cent, visitor numbers have increased by 100 per cent and membership is up 65 per cent compared to the same period last year.
Tom Johnston, director of Glendale Gateway Trust, said he was delighted that the project had been shortlisted.
He said: “We feel we’ve got a really good blueprint here for partnership deals that can benefit other rural communities around the country. This award is one way of spreading the word to other community development trusts.”
The new library at the Cheviot Centre will be officially opened on May 17.