Initial support for the establishment of Development Trusts came from Northumberland County Council and the Community Council for Northumberland. The Northumberland Strategic Partnership (NSP) has been a key supporter of development trusts and FoNDT, specifically providing strategic, financial and practical backing for the trusts. The Market Town Initiative provided further impetus to the movement.
Development trusts in Northumberland gain resources through grants, trading, contracting and assets. Development trusts in Northumberland have demonstrated how effective they have been in increasing earned income, increasing assets and so diversifying their sources of income. One of the key attributes of DT’s is their ability to attract external funding for community projects through their charitable status and over £10m has been brought to Northumberland over the past three years.
DT’s in Northumberland have also worked to become more financially sustainable.
Since 2002 the DT’s of Northumberland have increased turnover, earned income and their asset base to the collective level of a substantial business operating within Northumberland.
Individual DT’s have been recognised through a range of external awards from Market Town Regional award winners, Holy Island winning the 2010 HCA Rural Housing Awards and both Glendale and Seahouses attended a royal event at Windsor Castle to celebrate rural communities in the UK.
Trusts have been pro-active in building their financial sustainability but grant income is still needed. With the current economic and political challenges DT’s are now at the forefront to work with NCC to save and develop services such as libraries, health care and social housing. The range and diversity of professional skills across the membership could be a key attribute in the delivery agenda for Northumberland going forward.
Northumberland County Council's Regeneration Service Funding Bulletins are available to view or download by using the link below: