£1million reinvested in culture and leisure services in Northumberland
Through innovative working as part of a family of ‘companies’ Northumberland County Council has been able to ensure the reinvestment of £1million into leisure and cultural services across the county.
Austere financial times for local authorities mean that in some council areas services such as tourism, arts and leisure are facing significant cuts. In Northumberland the council places a high priority on these services – recognising their value for both local communities and the economic and social development of the county.
Active Northumberland, the charity and limited company which provides leisure management and development on behalf of the council, will expand from 1st April this year to deliver the full range of cultural services including arts strategy and development, library services, tourism strategy and development, cultural strategy, visitor information, strategic events and heritage development.
Arch, The Northumberland Development Company, operates as an investment and asset-based business with a £115.6million portfolio of commercial and residential property. Profits from Arch’s commercial activities are reinvested to support economic and social development, and the company is making a £1million charitable contribution to Active Northumberland.
Councillor Grant Davey, Leader of Northumberland County Council said: “This is great news for leisure and cultural services in Northumberland. Through looking at how we provide services through our ‘family’ of companies we have been able to sustain a good level of investment in leisure, tourism and culture, while reducing the council’s contribution.
“This is an exciting opportunity and the sort of measure that we are able to consider in Northumberland – and which goes some way to combatting the impact of national austerity measures.”
Councillor Dave Ledger, chair of Arch and Deputy Leader of the council said: “Arch is a commercial business with an economic and social mission. It is wholly dedicated to taking care of its customers and investing in Northumberland’s communities. Leisure and tourism are fundamental aspects of local economies, and so important to residents, and this is therefore a very appropriate way to reinvest profits.”
Councillor Susan Dungworth is chair of Active Northumberland. She added: “We are delighted to receive this cheque - it is great news, both for Active Northumberland, and residents in the county. Leisure and culture is strongly referenced as part of the council’s corporate priorities, and this reinvestment will help us to continue to work creatively to protect good quality services for residents and visitors, and ensure the services we manage on behalf of the council have a long and positive future.”
Notes to editors:
Active Northumberland is an established charity and limited company which provides leisure management and development on behalf of the Council. From 1 April Active Northumberland will also deliver the full range of cultural services including arts strategy and development, library services, tourism strategy and development, cultural strategy, visitor information, strategic events and heritage development on behalf of the Council.
The Council recognises that culture is a vital part of people’s lives, enabling them to have fun, meet people, develop skills, keep fit and achieve aspirations – this extension of Active Northumberland will create a fully integrated culture, tourism and leisure offer for the people of Northumberland whilst improving the resilience, impact and reach of services.
Arch, The Northumberland Development Company has been established by Northumberland County Council as an arms-length development company to drive capital economic development, physical regeneration projects and business growth in Northumberland.
Arch brings together five subsidiary companies delivering services in housing, commercial enterprise facilities, digital change and physical regeneration. The company has a clear economic focus and will help Northumberland develop credible sites and propositions to win new jobs and businesses for the area.
Contact for further information
Alexandra Wiley, Arch Marketing and Communications Manager:
Tel: 01670 528495
Tel: 01670 528495