Thursday, 30 May 2019

SmallBiz100- apply now!

The SmallBiz 100 is back for another year! Applications open this Saturday 1st June for businesses to  be in with the chance of becoming one of the 100 businesses that will form the Small Business Saturday campaign this year. The campaign will celebrate one business a day in the 100 days running up to Small Business Saturday on 7th December.

It is free to apply for this money-can't-buy opportunity for PR, events, networking and support. I really do encourage our brilliant local small businesses to apply- you might be one of this year's 100!

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Celebrating the Great British High Street

High Streets are integral to communities all over the country, and last week the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government launched the Great British High Street Awards 2019. High Streets across the UK would not be what they are without dedicated local people and small businesses, and the awards are a chance for us to celebrate and showcase the great work of individuals, community groups and business leaders across our constituency.

There are two categories- Champion High Street which recognises the nation’s best high streets, and the Rising Star category recognising the nation’s most ambitious high streets. Entries are now open and will close in the first week of July. Entrants are in with the chance to win up to £15,000 to spend on their community, so for more information about how you can get involved, visit here: 

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Northumberland Day 2019

Today is Northumberland Day and it is great to see so many Northumberland flags flying around the constituency to celebrate our great County. Northumberland Day is an initiative launched by Langley Castle Hotel and Restaurant and the very first Northumberland Day took place back in 2017. Each year the event is getting bigger and better, and it has been fantastic to see people getting behind the day in local communities. This week I visited Heddon-on-the-Wall and really enjoyed reading the messages written on their Northumberland flag where people had written their favourite things about Northumberland.

Events are taking place around the county today to mark Northumberland Day. However you spend your day, I would encourage you to keep supporting and celebrating Northumberland not just today, but all year round.

Find out more at

Friday, 24 May 2019

The parcel postbox comes to Hexham

For the first time in its 160 year history the Royal Mail has introduced a change to the way we use postboxes. Parcel postboxes will allow small businesses and marketplace sellers to post pre-paid parcels through postboxes in the same way they currently post letters. The postboxes will be secure, making it safe and convenient for businesses to use. Haugh Lane Industrial Estate in Hexham will be one of the first places in the country to have a parcel postbox, which is great news for businesses in the town.

Parcel postboxes are a great initiative, and I have no doubt that the new Hexham postbox will be a real benefit to our local small businesses.

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

The Northumberland County Show is just around the corner!

There is now less than one week to go until the 2019 Northumberland County Show- Monday 27th May at Bywell Hall will see a jam-packed day of stands, events and exhibitors in what is always a brilliant day out for all the family. I always enjoy my visits to the County Show and have no doubt that this year's will be another great day- let's hope the weather doesn't disappoint!

Parking is free, but make sure to buy your tickets either on the day or online in advance to beat the queues. To buy your tickets or to find out more about the programme for this year's event visit here-

Monday, 20 May 2019

A Midsummer's Evening- 1 month to go

There is just one month to go until Corbridge's Midsummer's Evening. This is always one of the highlights of the year in the town- markets, street food, music, dance, late night shopping and a flower festival at the church combine to make it a great evening of shopping and entertainment. 

Parking is free at the Tynedale Rugby Club, with a shuttle bus from the rugby club and the station. A Midsummer's Evening takes place on Thursday 20th June from 4pm- let's hope the weather delivers for us!

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Jump for Joy!

Enjoy an afternoon in St Oswin's Church Grounds, Wylam, raising money for the Wylam and District Churches Youth Project. With stalls, barbecue, afternoon tea and the famous teddy parachute jumps- it's going to be a great afternoon!

Friday, 17 May 2019

Countdown to Northumberland Day 2019

Northumberland Day 2019 is just around the corner (26th May) and events will be taking place all over the county to celebrate. Anyone can take part and hold an event- whether you are a business, school or member of the community you can get involved. Why not decorate your home in the red and yellow colours of Northumberland, hold a Northumberland-themed activity at your school or go along to one of the many events being held across Northumberland? 

The link below contains more information about Northumberland Day 2019 and the events going on near you. Make sure to have a look and find out how you can get involved!

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

First open weekend of 2019 at Cheeseburn

This weekend sees the first of Cheeseburn Sculpture's open weekends in 2019. On Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th May you are invited to visit Cheeseburn and have a first look at some of the brilliant installations that are set to be unveiled this weekend. These include Brigitte Jurack's 'Scavengers' and Clare Townley's 'Nostalgie de la boue: Plastic Friend'. Clare was last year's winner of the Gillian Dickinson North East Young Sculptor of the Year. There will also be a pop-up shop from Handmade Tyneside in attendance at the open weekend. Cheeseburn's installations are always of the highest standard- I encourage you to go along this weekend and see what 2019 has in store!

Monday, 13 May 2019

Great opportunity for local schools!

Local schools have the chance to win £20, 000 with Asda's Plastic Investigators Club poster competition. Primary schools are invited to design a poster that spreads awareness of plastic waste and what can be done to help solve it. The winning pupil's school will receive £20,000 and a £1000 Asda Gift Card for the winning pupil, while second place will receive £10,000 and the third placed school will win £5000. It's a great opportunity for schools and the competition tackles a very important subject- to find out more about how your school can take part visit here:

Saturday, 11 May 2019

A busy Saturday ahead in Hexham

Hexham is the place to be this morning, with plenty of events taking place around the town. From 9am-1pm Hexham Abbey are holding a Book Sale and a Plant Sale, with money raised going towards funding for the Abbey. Saturday is also Hexham Farmers' Market day, and producers will be coming from all over Northumberland to sell locally grown and produced products. This year the Hexham Farmers' Market is celebrating its 20th year and over the years it has become a much-loved event in the Hexham community. If you've never visited the Market before, then today is the perfect time to go along!

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Prudhoe Poppets

I stopped by to meet the Prudhoe Poppets team the other day to see the group's new collection of sensory toys purchased with funds received following a successful funding application. Prudhoe Poppets is a play and creative session held every Friday at the East Centre in Prudhoe from 10.30am-12.30pm. The session is run by local volunteers for the benefit of the local community, and has both indoor and outdoor spaces for children to play in. The session also welcomes children with additional needs and disabilities- it really is a brilliant facility for all!

More volunteers are always welcome, particularly to help out with putting out toys and serving drinks every Friday. To find out more about how you can get involved, visit here:

Monday, 6 May 2019

100 years of the Kielder Forestry Commission

Kielder is celebrating 100 years of the Forestry Commission at Kielder, and on Friday past and present staff and the local community are invited to a gathering at Kielder Castle to celebrate and share memories of forestry in Kielder and the people who have worked in the industry. There will be live music, a barbecue and a bar to enjoy- entry is free but there will be a charge for food and drinks.

The gathering takes place on Friday 10th May from 7pm-10pm at Kielder Castle. It's hard to imagine Kielder without the Forestry Commission- what a great way to celebrate its first 100 years!

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Great Northumberland 2019- apply for funding now

Earlier this week the Northumberland Cultural Fund opened for applications for event organisers in the county to secure funding to deliver new events this summer. The fund aims to give organisers the support to develop their new events to create a busy summer in Northumberland. Small project and event organisers can bid for a share of the £100,000 fund. The Northumberland Cultural Fund was created following last year's Great Northumberland programme, and any events receiving funding will become part of Great Northumberland 2019.

The deadline for applications is Monday 13th May at 5pm. You can find application forms and more information about submissions here:

Friday, 3 May 2019

Tynedale Hospice at Home's award-winning filmmakers!

Congratulations to Tynedale Hospice at Home! The charity produced a film, 'Grief as a Teenager', alongside six young people who have all lost a parent, and the film was recently awarded bronze in the Long Form category at the Charity Film Awards ceremony in London. The film was created with the aim of bringing comfort to other young people who have been bereaved of a parent. It is now being used in one to one group support for young people experiencing bereavement.

This is a fantastic achievement by everyone involved in the project. Tynedale Hospice at Home does such brilliant work in our communities and provides a valuable service to those suffering from life limiting illnesses. It is great to see to see such a successful example of how film and art can be used to help those experiencing bereavement.

Thursday, 2 May 2019

It’s Election Day - please make sure you vote today!

The North of Tyne Mayoral election is today.  This Courant article explains what we are facing and I fully support Humshaugh resident and local businessman Charlie Hoult. Across Newcastle and North Tyneside we also have local election which really matter. 

Whatever your views make sure you vote!