Town hub takes a top title

Stock pics of Wooler'cheviot centre
Stock pics of Wooler'cheviot centre

A combined library and tourist information centre, which is already highly acclaimed, has won Britain’s top award for town community projects.

The Community Hub in the Cheviot Centre in Wooler has beaten competition from across the United Kingdom to become overall winner of the 2012 Action for Market Towns Awards.

National charity Action for Market Towns (AMT) works with more than 450 member towns across the UK and its award scheme showcases the ‘innovation, self-reliance and creativity’, which chief executive Chris Wade says is at the heart of so many UK towns.

Sue Bevan, an Action for Market Towns board member and judge for the awards scheme, 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.”

Neil Wilson, of Glendale Gateway Trust (GGT), collected the award at a ceremony hosted by TV presenter Dr David Starkey at the AMT national convention in Kendal last Thursday.

And trust director Tom Johnston said: “This is terrific news for us.

“The library project was many years in the making, but all the time and effort put in by trustees and staff has been worthwhile.

“The new service is a great result for the community of Glendale, and for our partners, the local authority.”

Coun Neil Bradbury, the county council’s executive member for customer relations and culture, said: “While other councils have been closing libraries we have been working with communities and investing in innovative schemes to strengthen the service.

“At the heart of the library move was our desire to make services more accessible for the public and extend opening hours significantly which we have managed to do.”