Here we give a spotlight to our Associate members and event sponsors.

Member spotlight Calibre Control logo

Calibre supply a range of agricultural testing equipment for the arable and dairy farm sector. We aim to be a support tool for our customers to help with on-farm solutions such as grain moisture testing, antibiotic testing and mastitis monitoring. 

Hay & Kilner Law Firm logo

Hay & Kilner is committed to meeting the different needs of all clients and contacts and has developed high levels of service which we consistently deliver. We have a team of expert solicitors who provide advice to our clients involved in agricultural land and farming or related rural activities. Whether you run a large or small family business, a large company or a landed estate we can give you the expert advice you need. We deliver a quality assured service, focusing on your specific requirements, and are committed to securing the best result for you.

We work closely with your other professional advisers, such as bankers, accountants and land agents, to ensure that you achieve the best solution in the most tax efficient manner. We have good relationships with many national and regional organisations and recommend that clients in the rural community need their trusted adviser “team” to all work together for the best results to be achieved.

Why do we exist? 

Our purpose is to make rural life better. 

We work with people and organisations who are passionate about the place they live and work. We help to create new ideas and turn them into solutions. 

Rural UK is more diverse than people think at first. It is much more than farming and tourism. Rural economies have untapped potential for innovation and positive change. Our primary focus is the whole North of Tyne Authority area, including Northumberland. We are also starting to work in other areas, please contact us if you are interested. 

The Rural Design Centre is funded by North of Tyne Combined Authority and The European Regional Development Fund until 2023. 

A catalyst for change 

The ‘big idea’ is that the RDC will act as a catalyst for change, to stimulate new ideas and action to change things for the better.  

We work with three main partners: 

Advance Northumberland 

The National Centre for Innovation and Rural Enterprise at Newcastle University (NICRE) 

Innovation Super Network 

We use ‘design methods’ 

We work with people, community groups, businesses, research centres and business support organisations to do this work. We use design methods to understand what is going on, what people need or want and how to make things better. We will ask questions, to get people to share what they know. We do this to understand what is going on. 

How can we help you? 

The Rural Design Centre brings groups together to discover the current problems and opportunities, define solutions and deliver results. We can offer advice and grants to small and medium businesses including Community Interest Companies. We are connected to a big network of partner organisations and can support funding applications for feasibility studies as well as larger investment to make things a reality. We want to hear from residents, community groups, small and medium businesses and solution providers who have an interest in improving rural communities. 

How we work (Design Missions) 

We’re on a mission, well missions actually! 

We work with people, community groups, businesses, research centres and business support organisations to do this work. We use design methods to understand what is going on, what people need or want and how to make things better.  

Our work is structured into design missions as we call them. Each mission is either focussed on a particular place (e.g. Haltwhistle) or around a theme (e.g. Housing). We start by striking up a conversation with people about the place they live in. 

We host events to explore the theme and create ideas. We then invite expressions of interest from businesses and organisations and support them in applying for grants for feasibility and pilot studies. 

So far, we have undertaken missions around the themes of ageing, housing, mobility, de-carbonisation and smart energy. 

We are really passionate about this work, we want to hear from people, groups and businesses who would like to work together to make a positive impact in their community. 

So if this sounds like something you would like to be involved in, please get in touch