How is Urban Green Newcastle funded?
Urban Green Newcastle is an independent charity and receives funding from a variety of sources. Our annual accounts are published on the Charity Commission website. We generate our own revenue to pay for operations via fundraising, grants and commercial activities. All funds are reinvested back into the parks and allotments and we aim to be meeting our annual running costs by generating £2m each year by 2027.
How is Urban Green Newcastle structured?
Urban Green Newcastle is led by Chief Executive, James Cross – former Chief Executive of Natural England, the Government’s environmental advisor and regulator responsible for the creation of the National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and National Nature Reserves. It has a staff of 30, a Board of 13 Trustees, which includes representatives from Newcastle City Council; and a Membership, appointed by the Trustees, which includes representatives from seven organisations including Newcastle City Council, University of Newcastle, National Trust, Newcastle Council for Voluntary Service, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Northumbria University and the Natural History Society of Northumbria.
What is the role of the Trustees?
Trustees set the strategic direction of Urban Green Newcastle and, through the Chief Executive, oversee the business of the charity and ensure that its strategy is delivered.
Trustees receive no financial remuneration but can claim reasonable expenses (e.g. travel to meetings, sustenance if required). The Chair of our Trustees is Jim Beirne, Chief Executive of Live Theatre in Newcastle.
Who is Urban Green Newcastle accountable to?
Urban Green Newcastle is a charitable company limited by guarantee so it must comply with statutory accounting and reporting obligations. Our Board must prepare an annual report to accompany its accounts each financial year setting out how the charity has been governed, how it has furthered its charitable objectives and what it has achieved for its beneficiaries the residents of and visitors to Newcastle upon Tyne.
This report will be available to the public through the Charity Commission’s website, Companies House website, and urbangreennewcastle.org.
Company Members act as the gatekeepers and custodians of Urban Green Newcastle. The Members are entirely separate from the Board and therefore can hold it to account for its actions. Their role is to appoint the first Auditors, and they are able to remove Trustees from the Board where necessary.
Urban Green Newcastle’s Board will establish a community representation group, which will advise the Trustees on how to ensure its activities can support all areas of the city, its residents and relevant interests.
Once a year, we will also produce a report to the City that will outline what we have done in that year and what our plans are for the year to come.
If members of the public are unhappy with anything Urban Green Newcastle has or has not done, they can raise issues through our complaints process. It is expected that Ward Councillors will engage with Urban Green Newcastle to share any ideas, concerns or raise questions on behalf of residents.