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By Blank, in News,

Two small businesses have been recognised as showing the true 'spirit of enterprise' after teaming up to help their respective interests grow. Lisa Walker, from Cambois, who provides children's pony rides with 19-year-old Shetland pony Smurf, and Gary Smith, from Bedlington, who hires bouncy castles under the name Mr Booncy, jointly took the title at the Wansbeck Business Awards.
The pair decided to pool their resources after realising they had a lot in common and they are now working together to expand their businesses.
Ms. Walker said: "We've really thought outside of the box to help each other's businesses.
"It's a strange sight seeing 6 feet 3 inch Gary with Smurf who is just 3 feet tall but the kids love the combination and it's been really good for our business."

By Neil, in News,

Bedlington Terriers are delighted to announce that they have signed ex-Jamaican International forward Trevor Benjamin.
Trevor has many former clubs, and they include: Cambridge United, Leicester City, Northampton Town, Coventry City, Peterborough United, Hereford United, Gainsborough Trinity and Kidsgrove Athletic.
Whilst representing Jamaica at full international level (debut in 2002), he also played for Englands Under 21 side in 2001.
Most recently Trevor was with Woking Town but since relocating to the region, Bedlington have been first to the post to get his prestigious signature. He will obviously be a great player to have at the club and his experience will prove invaluable.

By Blank, in News,

Work is set to start in February on major new improvements to the Northumberland Cycle Network. The first stage of the scheme will see the "˜Black Path' re-laid in tarmacadam with new lighting also being installed. The route through Gallagher Park will follow soon after with an expected start date in late March (See the attached plan for further details and proposed routes).
The project is being carried out by Sustrans in conjunction with Northumberland County Council. The Sustrans group aims to help people choose to travel in ways that benefit their health and the environment.
Brian Oliver, Chairman of Bedlington Forum, Said: "Speaking as someone who is heavily involved in most aspects of voluntary and community work, the addition of a dedicated cycle path through Bedlington can only go to enhance the progress we are currently making in our town through schemes such as the Townscape Heritage Initiative.
If we are lucky enough to get a footbridge built over the River Blyth at Humford Woods and along with it, the completion of a proposed dedicated path on to Cramlington, we will then have become part of a much bigger cycle network. Hopefully in time we will reap the benefits of having "˜cycle tourists' visit our area."
Aln Elliott, Senior Engineer at Northumberland County Council, Said: "There are many phases of cycleway construction to be carried out over the next three years and work will include working with the communities and schools in Bedlington to get their ideas for the project. It is hoped that the finished scheme will be of high quality and give people the opportunity to leave their cars at home and either walk or cycle more to local destinations."
A full programme of work will be published on Bedlington.co.uk early in the new year allowing you to give feedback and input to help steer the later stages of the scheme. Later work is set to link Bedlington with East Cramlington via Humford Woods and will be completed by mid 2013.

Following a succesful grant application of £20,000 by a community led group, A feasability study is now under way to address what is seen as a lack of youth and sporting provision in the town.
The closure of the Netherdale Venue in late 2007 prompted a lively debate at a Bedlington Forum meeting which led to the creation of a steering group made up of community members, school representatives, sporting representatives and county council officers to see if anything could be done to address the issue of dwindling community facilities in Bedlington. A brief was assembled and a bid was submitted by Bedlington Forum to Go Wansbeck for funding to enable a consultant to produce the required first step, a feasibility study.
The study is now set to evaluate the case for development on the site of Meadowdale County Middle School for an all weather flood lit football pitch with community and other sports facilities attached, as well as other potential facilities at Gallagher Park. Consultants Knight Kavanagh & Page will be carrying out the study and completion is expected early in the new year. The conclusion of the report will outline once and for all the facilities Bedlington can hope to obtain and support on a long term basis as well as plans to move the process forward.
Chairman of the steering group Mr Brian Oliver said," Whilst there were originally two very clear groups each promoting their own vision, we are now working very closely together to make sure we get a result for the Town, who knows what might come from this independent completed study".
Steering group community member Mr Malcolm Robinson said, "With the future of the current community centre in Bedlington being far from assured, we really have to have a successful conclusion and this report should point us in an achievable direction. There has been a lot of hard work just to get this far, taking almost two years, but we would not have come as far as we have without the help of Wansbeck CVS, Karen McLean the Regeneration Officer for Northumberland County Council and of course our sponsor Go Wansbeck".
The study comes at a critical time for Bedlington with community facilities under serious threat and further question marks looming over the future of Bedlington's libraries.
Bedlington.co.uk members have been discussing the news of the potential closures this week. Angejohnson said: "I feel strongly that people should be objecting on principle to losing resources such as community centres and libraries. As someone has pointed out maybe the CC is not the best run and if this was improved it would be much more of a hub for community activities."
Do you think the community centre has a future? What do you want to see new community facilities in the town offer? Have your say in the Community Forums or leave your comments below.

Two Bedlington students have started an online campaign to give a well respected local man the chance to turn on the Christmas lights.
Not wanting to be brushed off with a cliche Z-list celebrity event, Sian Darbyshire and Luke Charlton have taken it upon themselves to make sure a real local celebrity takes on the role.
"Tommy the Egg Man", as he is affectionately known, is regularly seen walking the streets and is known by almost everybody in the town.
Speaking on the specially formed Facebook group which now has over 350 450 600 1200 members, local resident Claire Bartie, said: "i think this is a brill idea tommy is lovely and always says hello ever since i was in middle school he always spoke to us all i defo vote for tommy!!!!!"
One of the groups creators, Sian Darbyshire, said: "I (and many others) feel this legend of a man deserves to turn the lights on in Bedlington. If Tommy does get the chance to turn the lights on because of this group we will all have made an old man very happy"
We caught up with Tommy on the street and asked him for comment. He very modestly played down his new found fame and instead wanted to chat about how the town's kids were a "great lot" who often received unnecessary criticism. He did agree to pose for a photo.
This years event promises to be an extra special affair following the completion of the Market Place regeneration scheme. The lights are due to be switched on at 5:30pm on Thursday 3rd December.
Do you think Tommy should switch on the lights this year? Join the Facebook group,, have your say on the online poll or leave your comments below.
Update: 30th November 2009, 3:10pm
We are pleased to be able to report that Tommy Will be switching the lights on this year. Congratulations to all involved!
Special thanks go to Northumberland County Council and this years event organisers Benet Enterprises. Set up by St Benet Biscop High School, Benet Enterprises aims to to encourage enterprise in young people. Without the understanding of these two groups and the performers themselves (Local student group EVENTUAL) none of this would be possible.

Following on from our previous article regarding the adjournment of the Bedlington Old School enquiry, a date has now been set for Tuesday, December 15th at 10am.
The public will not be allowed to speak at the meeting unless permission is sought before the event, however a public viewing gallery will be available for any residents wishing to observe.
Commenting on the proposed development, Bedlington.co.uk visitor Sarah, said: "Bedlington doesnt need more housing it needs more community spirit a youth club and some better shops. I have lived in Bedlington all my life and would like to see it go up in the world not down."

Details of Christmas events in Bedlington are starting to come through thick and fast with the Christmas lights switch on set for 5:30pm on Thursday 3rd December.
There have also been unconfirmed reports of live entertainment in the form of Sally Rivers and the Big Bash Band.
Perhaps most excitingly there will be a FREE ice rink including free skate hire on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th December!
Both live music and the ice rink proved to be popular choices in a recent poll in the Bedlington Community Discussion Forums.
There is also talk of a weatherproof bouncy castle called Blizzard Mountain too. More pricing information and dates to follow!
Know of any other events planned over the festive season? Perhaps you are hosting something yourself? Why not add them to the Community Calendar for all to see.

Bedlington Terriers FC face their biggest game of the season (so far hopefully) when they entertain high flying Spennymoor Town in the FA Vase on Saturday 14th November. With the FA Vase being the Holy Grail for the club, a visit to Wembley would give the Terriers a massive opportunity to avenge their 1999 defeat at Wembley in the final, but there are many hurdles between then and now.
The game on Saturday could not be tougher, with big spending Spennymoor coming to town backed by a large travelling contingent. The outfit from County Durham will be hell bent on revenge following Bedlington's 2-1 league victory at Welfare Park in October.
With the increased interest in this week's game and the resultant traffic, the club will be working with Northumbria Police to provide extra signage asking all supporters to park in the car park behind Tescos.
So get behind your local team as they chase the dream of a Wembley appearance. With a bit of luck and plenty of support, the glory days could be on their way back"¦..starting Saturday!

Bedlington based travel agency Prana Travel have teamed up with Northumberland Greyhound Rescue to raise funds for retired greyhounds
The charities website www.northumberlandgreyhoundrescue.org.uk is being funded by Prana Travel and a donation to the charity is being made whenever a client books and mentions Northumberland Greyhound Rescue. The scheme aims to raise hundreds of pounds to help towards the rescue and re-homing of these wonderful dogs.
Aled Evans of Prana Travel, said: "We are delighted to help support Northumberland Greyhound Rescue by sponsoring the hosting of the website. In addition, we are offering donations to the charity when anyone booking with us mentions Northumberland Greyhound Rescue (NGR):
As the owner of two retired greyhounds myself, I know what great pets greyhounds make. The work that Northumberland Greyhound Rescue are doing is vital in giving these dogs a caring and loving home once their racing careers are over. "
The donation scheme is expected to become an ongoing source of revenue for the charity, securing kennel places for dogs waiting for homes and helping towards the neutering and micro-chipping costs of each of the dogs.
Donations to the charity will be made as follows:
Package Holidays: £10
Flight only booking "“ £5
Cruises "“ £25
Tailor-made holidays "“ £25
Aled and his wife decided to start the Bedlington based travel business in 2008. In addition to the more traditional package based holidays they provide the business has managed to succesfully combine Aled's 15 year experience in the travel industry with his wife's interest in yoga to provide a range of bespoke relaxing Yoga holidays.
For more information please call Prana Travel on 01670 828521, e-mail [email protected], or visit the Prana Travel Website

No matter what your age or artistic ability, this Thursday 22nd October, Meadowdale Middle School needs your help to turn the gym floor into a massive illustrated map of Bedlington.
Come along with friends and family and make your mark by drawing yourself, house, car, shops, pubs, churches, playgrounds etc., whatever is important to you! Feel free to bring photos to copy or work from memory. Marker pens will be provided.
Arrive anytime between 9.30 a.m. and 6.30 p.m.
We look forward to seeing you"¦

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