For the past 25 years the National Trust’s Inner City Project has sought to provide opportunities for people in Newcastle to access the countryside. A recent independent review of the project concluded that there may be more cost effective ways for the charity to engage a wide audience, particularly in the outdoors.
A National Trust spokesperson said:
“The National Trust has entered into a formal consultation process with staff at the Inner City Project to review the future of the project. The Inner City Project has played a useful role for a number of people, but we need to be mindful of how we spend our charitable resources to achieve the best results. “
“An independent review concluded that there may be better ways to engage more people with nature and the outdoors. Depending on the outcome of the consultation, the National Trust will explore alternative ways of working with existing groups based at Holy Jesus Hospital as well as working with partners to identify new opportunities to engage a broader audience across the North East.”
“Our properties are a lot more proactive in the way we encourage people to access the coast and countryside on their doorstep. Over the past year we have launched our ‘50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾’ campaign and started a national partnership to re-connect young people with Nature, and this has proved very popular with children and adults alike.”
The outcome of the consultation is expected in February.
Update 14/03/12: Closure of the Inner City Project
“The National Trust can confirm that the Inner City Project in Newcastle will close in May. The Inner City Project has been running for 25 years and the Trust values all that it has achieved, but as a charity we need to be mindful of how we spend our resources and adapt in the current economic climate.
“The National Trust will work with the young people involved in the project in a transition phase to identify the right opportunities for them at our places, particularly those accessible by public transport such as Gibside in Gateshead. This could include formal training or volunteering opportunities. The Trust will also work to enable existing groups for older people, including walking and art groups, to continue.
“We hope that by reviewing how we work, we can use our resources more effectively and offer more opportunities to more people.
“Regrettably 2 full time and 1 part time roles will be made redundant due to the project closure.”