Our vision is to create a national-scale centre for Extreme Sports, Street Arts and Performance, which is also the cornerstone of a Village for Health and Well-Being, Creativity and Innovation and Social Enterprise.
What we are proposing has already begun on the site on a much smaller scale. That is, the creation of a space which brings diverse activities and disciplines into contact, so that where they intersect and collaborate, innovation happens.
Underpinning this collaborative spirit is the desire to find creative and innovative solutions to the problems we see around us, and furthermore, to develop new blue-prints for how we live, communicate and relate to each other, so that in future we are not just fire-fighting, and reacting to the immediate problems before us, but exploring how to properly invest in and evolve the relationships, communities and cultures we create.
We call this a ‘Village’ because it benefits every inhabitant, from the youngest to the oldest; involving almost every aspect of life, from how we eat to how we move, communicate, learn, what we create, and how we age. If you are interested in these ideas, and what to get involved and help support making this vision happen, we want to hear from you!
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We have always been on short term leases in whatever building we have been in, and this has held back our progress and development over the years.
Our proposal is to buy the 8.25 acre site which has already been partially leased by our organization for 6 years, and expand the existing buildings and facilities, as well as undertake significant development and construction of new ones. Apart from the uniqueness of having all of these elements co-habiting on the same site, there are a number of other unique aspects of the plan:
- Social Enterprise Village: we have researched other social enterprise hubs, but haven’t seen anything in the UK quite like what we are proposing -there are Impact Hubs (this could be Impact Hub Newcastle-Gateshead, the first in the North), and co-working and incubator spaces, but this brings those models together with..
- Co-working and incubator space with an accelerator programme and series of ‘Open Innovation’ events that focus on growing HealthTech and SportTech related businesses. Early work from Tech North (part of Tech City UK) on 2015 revealed that digital businesses in the Northern Cities have a ‘deep social conscience’ and are using Tech for Good to tackle big social and health problems…and…
- Shared Makers spaces and studios, and large-scale creation/production and rehearsal spaces, for theatre, film, TV and museums, which again would be the only spaces of their kind in the region.
- Electric Off-road bike track (would be 2nd one in the UK) and electric 4x4 tracks (both indoor-unique in the UK-we are talking to KTM about working with us to create this, and outdoor)
- Indoor Mountain bike park (would be the only one in Europe)
- Indoor ‘Adventure-challenge’ zone, fusing Trampoline, Parkour, Aerial circus, and Ninja-warrior style elements.
- The highest permanent indoor aerial circus training space.
- The largest indoor Skatepark in the region.
- Living space for older people (aged 55+) supported by a programme exploring how we can age better.
- On-site accommodation to cater to touring companies/sports teams, artists on residencies, international groups participating in exchanges or study visits.
- A food academy linked to the food offers on the site, training young people in nutrition and inspiring them to get involved in exploring the future of how we eat.
- Unique quality of bringing together micro-macro, in every sense, ie very young and very old, benefitting the very local residents and communities around us, from people who literally live on site and up the road, to tourists, international visitors to the site, be they sports teams, artists, scientists, inventors, youth exchanges; students, start-ups and co-working on same site as well-established organisations…