The Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude MP, visited a north Northumberland village earlier this afternoon.
Mr Maude was in Wooler to visit the Glendale Gateway Trust and find out about the work it does for the community.
Trust director Tom Johnston showed him around and explained the various uses of the Cheviot Centre, which houses the library, the tourist information centre as well as pods for small businesses.
The Trust is also helping to provide much-needed affordable housing in Wooler and Mr Maude saw West Mansfield House, which is being converted into flats, thanks to a community bond scheme which has so far raised £122,500.
Mr Maude told the Gazette he was ‘hugely impressed’ by what he saw, adding: “People talk about the Big Society and sometimes people say, ‘Well, I don’t know what that means’. What it means is people doing more things with each other, for each other, in their community, for their community and that’s what you see here.
“It’s actually that classic thing; you need a great organisation to make the whole add up to more than the sum of the parts and that’s what’s happening here.”