Dates: Monday 30 November – Friday 4 December 2020
Location: Online, via zoom video conferencing


Due to the restrictions of the current pandemic, the annual North East Community-led Housing conference has moved online – and become a week-long festival!

The week aims to include something for everyone – whether you are just interested in finding out more about community-led housing or you are already deeply involved and want to gain some inspiration from successful projects or get some key questions answered.

The 2020 Festival is free to attend and the format allows delegates to pick and choose the sessions they want to attend. You can attend just one or two sessions that are of particular interest or attend all the sessions – it’s up to you.

All sessions will last up to 90 minutes. Morning sessions will involve presentations on the day’s topic with afternoon sessions focussing on specific case studies related to that topic. Each session will be chaired by a member of the Network’s Steering Group and there will be plenty of time for questions.

You can follow the conference on Twitter using the hashtag #NECLH20

Link to Event and Programme details

Link to Eventbrite Booking Page


The North East Community-Led Development Network was established in 2011 by a coalition of community organisations, public sector bodies, housing associations and academic institutions, all with a direct interest in community-led housing. It is currently the only regional community-led housing network in the UK.

The Network has over 150 members on its database. It holds network meetings each year organised by a Steering Group of CLH practitioners, local authorities and housing associations.


  • Monday 30 November – Why Community-led Housing (CLH)
  • Tuesday 1 December – Designing for Tomorrow
  • Wednesday 2 December – Funding Community-led Housing
  • Thursday 3 December – RP or not RP? + Evening Virtual Pub Quiz
  • Friday 4 December – Adviser Panel: all your Community-led Housing questions answered!


Monday 30 November – Why Community-led Housing (CLH)

This will aim to set out the advantages of CLH, its different mechanisms and the support available via CLH Enabling Hubs and accredited CLH advisers.

Morning session (10.00am-11.30am):

Introduction & Chair: Laura Martin, NE Community-led Development Network Chair & Housing Development Manager at Durham County Council

Presentation 1: What is Community-led Housing, what makes it an important opportunity and what support is available?

Catherine Harrington, Joint Chief Executive of the National CLT Network

The National CLT Network is the official charity supporting Community Land Trusts (CLTs) in England and Wales. The Network provides funding, resources, training and advice for CLTs and work with the Government, local authorities, lenders and funders to establish the best conditions for CLTs to grow and flourish.

Presentation 2: CLH delivery in practice and the accreditation process for advisers

Blase Lambert, Chief executive at the Confederation of Co-operative Housing

It’s vital that the growing number of community-led housing groups have access to accredited advisers who they trust will know the best and most up-to-date information to help them succeed.

A unique training and accreditation programme has been developed to ensure advice provided to groups covers the full range of options open to them, such as build method and approach, and covers the full life of their project, from concept through to completion

Book for Monday AM session

Afternoon session (2.00pm-3.30pm):

Introduction & Chair: Nik Milnes, Community Campus

Presentation 1: Ecomotive and the Ashley Vale project, Bristol

Anna Hope

Ecomotive is a workers’ co-operative which grew out of the 40-home Ashley Vale eco self-build project in Bristol. The name (Eco = from the Greek root of ‘home’; Motive = ‘reason for action’) symbolises the way in which Ecomotive take action to create opportunities for more sustainable homes, and empower others to do the same.

Presentation 2: Rural Urban Synthesis Society

Anurag Verma, Chair

The Rural Urban Synthesis Society (RUSS) is a members-led Community Land Trust based in South London, founded in 2009 with the aim of creating sustainable community-led neighbourhoods and truly affordable homes right across London. RUSS aims to establish a model development process for creating socially, economically and environmentally sustainable neighbourhoods of high-quality homes, managed by residents, which remain genuinely affordable for future generations and which can be replicated in Lewisham, London and across the UK.

Book for Monday PM session

Tuesday 1 December – Designing for Tomorrow

This will look at different ways in which CLH can deliver homes which are fit for the long term environmentally, socially and economically. Both sessions will hear from practitioners who have created sustainable CLH schemes around the country.

Morning session (10.00am-11.30am):

Introduction & Chair: Julia Heslop, Newcastle University, School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape, Newcastle University

Presentation 1: Dan Kerr, MawsonKerr Architects

MawsonKerr Architects, formed in 2010, is a Newcastle based design studio focused on creating inspirational buildings with a sustainable agenda.

Presentation 2: Harper Perry Architects

Harper Perry is a design studio based in Newcastle in the North East of England working across the fields of architecture, planning, urban design and research.  They work at a range of scales from large-scale strategic masterplanning and big ideas, to small-scale interventions and objects.

Book for Tuesday AM session

Afternoon session (2.00pm-3.30pm):

Introduction & Chair: Matt Thornhill, Newcastle City Council

Presentation 1: Homebaked CLT & URBED Architects

Catherine Simmons & Mariane Heaslip

Homebaked is a community land trust and co-operative bakery situated on the boundary between the neighbourhoods of Everton and Anfield, just opposite the Liverpool Football Club.

URBED (Urbanism, Environment and Design) Ltd is an award-winning design and research consultancy based in Manchester who believe in building sustainable towns and cities and enabling good design. They have been appointed by MHCLG to support the production of a National Model Design Code template for the UK.

Presentation 2: Tyneside’s first Passivhaus scheme, Whickham

Dan Kerr, MawsonKerr Architects

Oak Tree Passivhaus is the first Certified Passivhaus in Tyneside and its construction makes it unique in the region. Built beside an oak tree on a large sloping rear garden plot it uses a breathable twin timber frame, site sourced stone and minimises the use of steel. The project provides a collaborative and holistic approach to the design and construction of a Passivhaus.

Presentation 3: Affordable home solutions for existing garage blocks

Russell Edwards, Husk

The innovative Husk concept can unlock and lock up the housing market. Retaining the shell – single-skin brickwork and concrete floors designed to support a car – this approach will gut a terrace of garages into a single space, restructure it to fully comply with all industry standards and requirements, take the roof off and lower in a contemporary design bungalow – built to spec off site – into the void.

Book for Tuesday PM session

Wednesday 2 December – Funding Community-led Housing

This will explore the varied options available to fund community-led housing projects from grants to loans and from national funding to community-raised finance.

Morning session (10.00am-11.30am):

Introduction & Chair: Pete Duncan, Vice Chair of the NE Community-led Development Network and SRC Consultants

Presentation 1: Funding and support available from Power to Change

John Dawson, Power to Change

Presentation 2: Government funding available through Homes England

Richard Panter, Homes England

Presentation 3: Loan finance options

Jeremy Ince, Charity Bank

Book for Wednesday AM session

Afternoon session (2.00pm-3.30pm):

Introduction & Chair: Linda Lacy, Community-led Housing specialist, Northumberland County Council

Presentation 1: Yorspace

James Newton, Director & Founding Member of Yorspace

Yorspace is building a tangible solution to York’s housing shortage – by creating financially and environmentally sustainable homes designed to deliver a real sense of community. A variety of funding solutions have been adopted.

Presentation 2: Glendale Gateway Trust

Tom Johnston, Chief executive at Glendale gateway Trust

The Glendale Gateway Trust is a charitable community development trust based in the small rural town of Wooler in North Northumberland. The GGT operate a community and business centre in Wooler, and also own a number of commercial units on the High Street, 20 affordable housing properties and Wooler Youth Hostel and Shepherds Huts. You can see the Trust’s latest affordable home project, funded using community bonds, Homes England and Architectural Heritage support, via this link.

Book for Wednesday PM session

Thursday 3 December – RP or not RP?

Should local organisations become a Registered Provider or not? Should they go it alone or partner with an existing Registered Provider? Thursday’s sessions will look at the Registered Provider issue and explore how different approaches can be adopted – direct and in partnership.

Morning session (10.00am-11.30am):

Introduction & Chair: Vince Walsh, Karbon Homes

Presentation 1: The registration process

Althea Houghton, Regulator of Social Housing

Presentation 2: What are the options and key issues?

Fiona Wharton, Wrigleys Solicitors

Book for Thursday AM session

Afternoon session (2.00pm-3.30pm):

Introduction & Chair: Bill Carr, Carr & Cawson Consultants

Presentation 1: The Calder Valley CLT RP journey

Andrew Bibby, Secretary at Calder Valley CLT

Calder Valley Community Land Trust Ltd (CVCLT) is a member-led community benefit society with charitable status which has been established to help address and meet housing needs in the communities of Todmorden, Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd in Calderdale, West Yorkshire. Constituted under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014, as a member-controlled organisation, CVCLT has charity status with HM Revenue and Customs and more than 160 members. CVCLT is also an Investment Partner (IP) with Homes England and a Registered Provider of Social Housing (RP). This enables CVCLT to have access to grant-funding for its developments from the Government’s Affordable Homes Programme.

Presentation 2: The North East’s most recent Registered Provider – Redcar & Cleveland Voluntary Development Agency

Mike Milen, Chief Executive at RCVDA

RCVDA support, promote and develop volunteering and the voluntary sector in the borough of Redcar and Cleveland, in order that individuals and local groups can grow in confidence and skill and communities as a whole are sustained and enriched. In association with the development of a new supported housing scheme, RCVDA has successfully negotiated the RP process.

Book for Thursday PM session

Virtual Pub Quiz – 6pm

In order to facilitate a bit of networking during the Festival, there will be a virtual Pub Quiz at 6.00pm on Thursday 3 December. Have a drink ready and your thinking caps on to take part in a housing themed quiz kindly (and entertainingly) hosted by Peg Alexander, National Community-led Housing Adviser.

It’s a bit of fun and a chance for a bit of virtual socialising – and there will be a prize for the winner!

Book for the Virtual Pub Quiz 

Friday 4 December (10am – 11.30am)
Adviser Panel: all your Community-led Housing questions answered!

Wrapping up the festival, we want to provide an opportunity for delegates throughout the week to ask questions of CLH advisers, local authority CLH leads and Homes England. This session will feature a panel of advisers and local authority officers from across the region to answer any questions raised and identify any areas where more support is needed.

Matt Dodd, national Community-led Housing lead at Homes England will also join the panel.

Chair: Laura Martin, NE Community-led Development Network Chair & Housing Development Manager at Durham County Council

Book for Friday session


Any queries regarding the festival should be directed to the Network facilitator at: