Our current projects
AVEL owns a portable Emerald inflatable planetarium dome, within which night sky imagery and films can be projected using a special planetarium projector. Ideal for education. With a selection of sky-panoramic films and surround-sound audio, the planetarium is an exciting tool for bringing the night sky into the classroom, for groups of up to 20 people at a time, as part of learning about cosmology or as preparatory introductory session prior to a stargazing trip to an observatory.
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 has leased the former Allendale First School Field from Northumberland County Council for the next 35years.
This piece of waste ground has been brought back to life and now provides valuable Community space with picnic tables, a pond as well as a new permissive footpath leading from Shilburn Road across the field and out on to the footpath opposite the Village Hall.
En route you can see the two new projects which have transformed this piece of land.
Carrshield camping barn is located within the historic Barney Craig mine shop on the site of the former Carrshield Mine in the West Allen Valley. The former mine shop is a Scheduled Ancient Monument recognised as having significant cultural value. Its condition was 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 recognised its potential for development into low-cost, no-frills accommodation - a backpacking camping barn.
With funding from Historic England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, during 2017-18 the building was renovated using traditional methods and existing materials, converting the upper floors into a basic camping barn. It is now owned and managed by AVEL for the benefit of the local community.