- Glendale Gateway Development Trust began operating in 1996, focussed initially on the development and management of a community resource centre. Its direct interest in housing began in 2003
- Facing a significant problem of empty properties in Wooler town centre and inspired by the success of the community-led housing scheme on Holy Island, the locally-based Trust saw an opportunity to combine its interest in building up its capital asset base with tackling a major issue for the local community
- Glendale has since pioneered a cocktail of funding for its five community-led housing projects which has been both innovative and entrepreneurial. The Trust’s latest project, an £800,000 conversion of two large buildings in Wooler town centre into nine affordable rented flats
- The Trust had seen an opportunity for raising capital finance locally before embarking on this development and had launched an innovative Community Bond issue. It wanted to show local people that future housing development depended on the Trust’s ability to obtain interest-free loans
- It was a significant success: offering £1000 bonds for three years with no interest payable and hoping to raise £100,000, the Trust actually pulled in £128,500 in six months. Two local estate landowners bought up half the bonds, with the remainder taken up by the Trust’s main target – individual local residents
- The Trust now has assets of nearly £2.5 million in Wooler and outstanding loans of just £285,000
- Positive support from the County Council has helped to underpin the Trust’s work
“The County Council positively supports Community Land Trust’s such as Glendale Gateway Trust. They provide much needed affordable housing tailored to meet the specific needs of the communities in which they are based. Wooler is a key market town and service centre within the County Council’s Core Strategy.
We provided support and advice to the Trust to help them develop nine new homes in redundant buildings in the town. Lead officers in Planning and Housing and Housing Enablers bought into the vision and were able to work with the Trust from an early stage, contributing to the passage through planning, providing housing and financial advice and support and effectively providing a reference for the Trust in their bid to acquire a public house and hotel”.
Ian Stanners Affordable Housing Officer Northumberland County Council
Published in March 2018