Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Campaign to re-open George Stephenson's birthplace

I am encouraged to hear that The National Trust are working with a group of students from Newcastle Business School to find a solution to re-open George Stephenson's birthplace in Wylam. Stephenson lived in the cottage for the first eight years of his life, but it was closed earlier this year due to costs and falling visitor numbers. However, The National Trust said at the time that they hoped the closure would be temporary and they are now working with four students from Northumbria University's Business Clinic initiative, where students form their own consultancy firms to provide free advice to businesses. Meetings are apparently going well, with the students putting forward some good ideas to make the cottage financially viable, including creating a mobile app to guide visitors around the birthplace and they are currently looking into finding funding for the project. I have written to The National Trust making clear my hope that the site will be re-opened, and I hope to see George Stephenson's birthplace back open to the public soon as it is an important part of the region's history and a valuable facility for the community.