1. ITV Report

Ouseburn farm needs to attract 'more funding' to survive

Ouseburn Farm Credit: Ouseburn Farm

Ouseburn Farm says is needs to attract 'external finding' if it is to survive.

It's after the Board of Tyne Housing Association - who helped fund the farm - annouced they will no longer be able to do so after 2017.

Tyne Housing has contributed over £100,000 of the farms annual running costs for the last eight years.

The farm is in the Lower Ouseburn Valley in Byker and was set up in 1973.

It's a registered charity and looks after cows, pigs, sheep, goats, ducks and other livestock.

There are classrooms on site that allow school children to visit, as well as vulnerable and disadvantaged people - allowing them often to experience 'farm life' for the first time.

Newcastle City Council says it will do all it can to help find alternative funding.

In the meantime the farm is open as usual.

“Due to external factors at a regional and national level, we have reviewed our business operations to create further efficiencies. This has been a very difficult process, which has had many implications for our business plan.

“In order to protect the long-term financial viability of the organisation we, like many other housing providers across the country, have identified savings and it is with regret that we will be unable to continue our financial contribution to the farm after the end of this financial year.

“We understand this is potentially very disappointing news for visitors and the local community who enjoy exploring this fantastic inner-city tourist attraction. As a charity, the farm relies on personal and corporate donations, bookings for workshops, school visits and children’s parties but without additional funding, it is not sustainable. We are working hard to find a rescue package that will help the farm to become self-sustainable and enable it to remain open.

– Ian Johnson, Chief Executive at Tyne Housing Association

About the farm

  • The farm is free to enter and is run by six full-time staff, two part-time staff and up to 20 volunteers.
  • During term-time, the farm provides heritage, farm-based and environmental education for over 4,000 school children and students.
  • The workshops help agricultural, horticultural and environmental skills of vulnerable adults, volunteers and members of the public through the livestock, growing and environmental projects based at the farm.