The Cheviot Centre

Glendale Gateway Trust (GGT) runs this centre which is a rural enterprise hub for the area.


The Cheviot Centre

Glendale Gateway Trust (GGT) runs the Cheviot Centre, a former Victorian workhouse located in Wooler, a small town on the edge of Northumberland National Park in one of the most sparsely populated areas of the country.

The centre is a rural enterprise hub for the area and accommodates a mixture of offices for local businesses and community space for gatherings, events, conferences and workshops.

Its ethos is to develop the resilience and vibrancy of the community and this focus is at its heart of the hub with the support services provided not exclusively for business tenants.

The centre is well embedded into the community and consequentially it is 100% occupied.

Its offer:

  • Several offices and office pods which are rented out to new and established local businesses.
  • Two large community rooms for use by community and voluntary groups such as the University of the Third Age.
  • E-learning suite, providing meeting and video conferencing facilities as well as access to remote learning resources. There is poor infrastructure and connectivity to broadband in the rural area, and GGT considers the provision of these facilities vital.
  • Support services for the surrounding community including networking meetings (the ‘breakfast’ club), one-to-one business advice and training courses, as well as disseminating knowledge to tenants.
  • Hosting important services such as digital skills workshops, meals for elderly residents through the Royal Voluntary Service, the Police Station, public library and tourist information centre, Newcastle Building Society and Wooler food bank.

Its key successes

  • Has a reputation for helping businesses grow: two companies have expanded within the hub to the point of having to find larger accommodation elsewhere and jobs have been created because of this.
  • Offers tenants informal advice and services such as with online marketing.
  • Its innovative ‘pods’ have proven highly popular locally and have been used as best practice for other hubs to replicate. There is a substantial waiting list for the pods and they have never been vacant since creation.
  • Combining business and community interests is challenging, but this is seen as one of the Cheviot Centre’s biggest strengths, particularly in helping isolated businesses and residents feel like they belong in the community


GGT chief executive officer

Karen Froggatt explains more:

Karen said:

“For rural communities to thrive we need to improve and create opportunities to strengthen their infrastructure. The Cheviot Centre over the years has strived to ensure this rural community is not left behind.

“By creating a community hub, we have given people the opportunity to socially interact, learn new things, create a welcoming environment for local businesses and be a focal point to bring the community together in difficult times such as during Storm Arwen and the Ukraine Appeal.

“Rural living can have negative and well as positive effects and the negative effects have been amplified by the Covid-19 pandemic. Importantly the cost of living in rural and remote areas is substantially higher that in towns and cities. Fuel and food poverty is more prevalent, and the Cheviot Centre aims to be there to support the people of Glendale in the challenging times that lie ahead.”

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