Our current projects
The new North Pennines Observatory was developed by the North Pennines AONB Partnership using Heritage Lottery funding. Hosted by Allenheads Contemporary Arts and sited at their base at the Old School House in Allenheads the observatory is well-placed to make the most of the dark North Pennines skies. It is AVEL’s first operational project and will deliver an innovative programme of events appealing to schools, community groups, residents and visitors, as well as providing a base for astronomers locally and regionally, including a new North Pennines Astronomical Society.
Go to the Observatory's website for more details about this exciting new
A number of river locations in the Allen Valleys are being investigated for the feasibility of building sustainable small-scale hydro-electric projects that can generate an income for the community. Work to date has encouraged us that a couple sites may be viable. The technical requirements and financial modelling are now being evaluated, and funding options explored, before a firm plan for further development can be finalised. Recent experience demonstrates that such projects can attract the necessary finance from individuals and organisations both locally and nationally to allow them to go ahead.
AVEL is currently in discussion with Northumberland County Council to lease the former Allendale First School playing field, with the intention of this being used as the location for a community growing/garden venture in partnership with a new local not-for-profit organisation called Higher Ground.
We held two information open days in June and July in Allendale Village Hall, to let people know what we are planning for the first school ground.
We got some useful feedback from the attendees, which has helped us hone our ideas with our partners in Higher Ground and the North Pennines AONB Partnership, and many offers of help.
We are still waiting to hear about the asset transfer from Northumberland County Council.
Barney Craig is a mineshop on the site of the former Carrshield Mine in the West Allen Valley and is a Scheduled Ancient Monument recognised as having significant cultural value. Its condition is critical, being dilapidated and in danger of becoming ruined. Being well-placed for cyclists and walkers and for use by local outdoor activity providers, AVEL has recognised its potential for development into low-cost, no-frills accommodation - a backpacking camping barn.
Staff at the North Pennines AONB partnership have now secured all the funding we needed from Historic England and Northumberland County Council. The renovation work, before it is finally handed over to AVEL to look after, is now underway.
10am Sat 10th March
Due to the adverse weather conditions, the open day planned for Sat 20th Jan has been postponed. Come along in March to the site to talk about the development plans.