STRICTLY EMBARGOED: 00.01hrs Wednesday 12 May 2010
thWHAT: A community celebration in Newstead at 10.30am on Tuesday 11 May where villagers
will gather to celebrate winning a Village SOS Lottery award to set up their new community-run business. The journey of the village will be filmed for a prime-time BBC documentary next year.
WHO: Key members of the winning project and local community will be available for comment
and interview. Interviews with Mick McGrath, the Big Lottery Fund‟s Head of Region for the East Midlands are also available. release release release
LOCATION: Newstead Centre (meet in the cafe), Tilford Road, Newstead NG15 0BS. For Google map visit: http://tiny.cc/n8uox
News News News For more details or to arrange attendance and interviews, please contact the BIG Press Office via email or on 020 7211 1888
VILLAGE SECURES BUMPER CATCH
AS SOS CALL IS ANSWERED
A Nottinghamshire village is celebrating after netting ?433,140 of Lottery cash
to revitalise the area through the creation of an eco-friendly resource centre,
fishing lakes and music festival.
Future Newstead is one of six projects to today win funding through Village
SOS – a scheme by Big Lottery Fund and the BBC that aims to inspire a rural
revival across the UK.
Village SOS is responding to the plight of rural villages across the UK, and is supporting
new community-led business ventures that will breathe new life into their areas, create new
jobs and improve the quality of life for local people.
Villagers in the former mining village of Newstead applied to the scheme last summer and fought off stiff competition from a range of village projects across the UK to be awarded the
funding. With young people in mind, project organisers plan to transform the wild lakes on
the old colliery tips into designated angling zones, working closely with the CAST project
which uses angling as a way to engage with disadvantaged young people. A day ticket
scheme will also be run to generate income.
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A sustainable resource centre complete with visitor centre, classrooms and workshop space
will be created on the site and plans are afoot to host a music festival, building on the
existing community festival that has run for the last 10 years. The Future Newstead project
is working in partnership with Rural Community Action Nottinghamshire to transform the
220-acre former colliery spoil heaps into a country park. The site already boasts a range of
wild birds, flowers and butterflies and it is hoped the regeneration of the coal heaps will bring
more tourists flocking to the area.
As well as creating new jobs, the project will help to improve the village‟s image, strengthen
the community cohesion that collapsed with the closure of the colliery, encourage tourism
and generate income to re-invest in future community activities and social enterprises.
Mick Leivers of Future Newstead said: “We are really chuffed. This is just the beginning,
and also the end of five months hard work. It means an enormous amount. We have all
worked together - all of those hundreds of thousands of working hours have all been worth it.
It means we can get our project going. We already have 16,000 plus Facebook followers
and the number of volunteers who have offered to help us with the project has bloomed to
200 people. This is an incredible programme to be involved with.”
Helping the villagers will be their „Village Champions‟. London-based husband and wife team Anthony and Julia Thistleton-Smith will move into Newstead for a year and use their experience of environmentally sustainable architecture and PR to support the villagers
in getting their community enterprises up and running. The villagers chose to work with the
Thistleton-Smiths from a pool of experts found through a nationwide search by the BBC and
Enterprise UK. They have been working with the project since November last year to
develop their ideas into a standout business proposal.
BBC One will document the village‟s journey for one programme in a six-part series which promises to be gripping entertainment for viewers as they follow the ups and downs of the
new village enterprises from start up to up and running. The series is produced by BBC
Cymru Wales and will be screened next year.
Mick McGrath, Big Lottery Fund Head of Region for the East Midlands, said: “This
Village SOS award will kick start a revival in the former mining village of Newstead, helping
to secure the future of the community by putting power into the hands of the villagers. I hope
that their innovative ideas, which will bring tourists to the area as well as teach positive
activities to disengaged young people, will inspire others across the UK to reinvigorate their
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Future Newstead is one of six villages to win Village SOS funding. The other winners are the
Taste Tideswell Group in Derbyshire; Caistor Arts and Heritage Centre Group in
Lincolnshire; Barge Inn Community Project Barge Inn Community Project in Wiltshire; West
Wemyss Development Trust in Fife, Scotland; and Talgarth Mill Green Energy Group in
To find out more about Future Newstead, watch the video at
Big Lottery Fund Press Office: 020 7211 1888
Out of hours contact: 07867 500 572
BBC Wales Communications: Jenny Walford: 029 2032 2373
Textphone: 0845 6021 659 Full details of the Big Lottery Fund programmes and grant awards are available on the website:
Notes to Editors
? Village SOS is a joint initiative between the Big Lottery Fund (BIG) and the BBC to help six
rural villages across the UK, regenerate their communities through brilliant new business
? Villages shortlisted through the programme in November 2009 were offered a development
grant of up to ?10,000, and chose a „Village Champion‟ to work with to advance their ideas. In
May 2010 six projects are being awarded Lottery funding of around ?400,000 to make their
project a reality. Their respective Village Champions are moving into the villages for a year to
help them turn their business idea into a reality.
? BBC Wales is following the stories of the new rural enterprises from start up to trading for a
major BBC One series. A major learning campaign will be launched alongside the series to
enable other villages to use the learning and enthusiasm from the programme to set up their
own community enterprises.
? The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is
responsible for giving out half the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.
www.biglotteryfund.org.uk. Big Lottery Fund Press Office 020 7211 1888 Out of Hours
07867 500 572
? BBC Press Office Jenny Walford: 029 2032 2373. Visit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/villagesos/