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Saved By Grant

Byker Bowling Club

A historic bowling club in Newcastle’s East End has staved off the threat of closure for a second time thanks to a vital grant from Byker Community Trust (BCT).

With its ageing grass cutter no longer up to the job and members struggling to raise the money to replace it, Byker Village Bowling Club faced possible closure with just eight years to go before its centenary. Now the club has been saved, thanks to a grant of £8,000 from BCT, which owns and manages the Byker Estate on behalf of residents.

The club was one of 13 local groups to benefit from the first round of BCT’s Participatory Budget Scheme, alongside organisations like Byker Community Centre, the Hat-Trick football project and Byker Sands Sure Start Centre.

Jill Haley, BCT’s Chief Executive, said: “Local groups are using the scheme to provide everything from children’s activities to apprenticeships, so it’s great to see our funding helping to secure the bowling club’s future as well. With this new equipment, the club can safeguard one of Byker’s oldest institutions as well as welcoming new members from different parts of the community.”

The grant paid for a new grass cutter, as well as storage equipment for the Headlam Street-based club.

“The new equipment is an absolute godsend,” said club secretary Alec Lamb, who lives on the estate. “We have to comply with national requirements from the English Bowls Association to compete in local leagues, and other teams often complained about the state of the green. The old grass cutter was second hand when we bought it eight years ago, and was constantly breaking.

“The club has been at Headlam Street since it was founded in 1922, so it would have been devastating to see it close because we couldn’t cut the grass properly. The estate was even demolished and rebuilt around us in the 1960s and 70s."

The club nearly closed two years ago due to City Council spending reductions, but members rallied round and took over the maintenance and running of the 92-year-old institution themselves. The members – whose well-stocked trophy room includes two consecutive Rington’s Cups and two veterans’ league titles – compete in four leagues around the North East.




Board Member

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Take a look below at our vacancies:

Becoming An Independent Board Member Or Becoming A Tenant Board Member



Trust Shareholder

Become A Byker Community

Becoming a Byker Community Trust (BCT) Shareholder


BCT is committed to giving every tenant and individuals interested in the local community a say in the management of the BCT.  A key opportunity is by becoming a shareholding member of BCT.



Being a shareholder is not about stocks and shares. It only costs £1 to become a shareholder.



Membership of the Trust enables a shareholder to;



 Attend and vote at the Annual General Meeting and any Special General Meeting.

 Receive copies of the BCTs Annual Report.

 Vote on any changes to the BCT rules.


 Whis eligible tobecome Shareholder?



 Tenant Shareholder

Tenant Shareholding membership is open to every tenant who has an up to date rent account and is not in breach of their tenancy conditions.


 Independent Shareholder

Independent Shareholders who have an interest in the welfare of BCT tenants, or in the provision of affordable homes in Byker, can apply to be a Shareholder.


 Hoto apply



If you would like an application form or more information on Shareholder

Membership please contact BCT on 0800 533 5442 or visit the BCT website;


Registered office:  Byker Community Trust, 23 Raby Cross, Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 2FF.



Family Fun Day


Families attended a fun day to mark the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Children and adults flocked to the historic Byker estate on Wednesday for a host of family fun to mark the day of the opening ceremony.


The event, run for residents of the historic estate by Byker Community Trust (BCT), featured everything from laser quest to exotic animals, alongside fun games and races inspired by the ‘friendly games’ getting underway today in Glasgow.

Over a thousand local residents turned out to enjoy four hours of fun, including races, competitions and dance, as well as music, face painting and sports organised by the Hat-Trick project, which helps young people to learn life skills and confidence through football.



BCT Office Closed for Byker Fun Day

BCT Office Closed on July 23rd

Hi everyone, it's the Byker Fun Day on Wednesday 23rd July and the BCT office will be closed all day as our team are helping out with the event. We hope to see lots of residents there and, if you need help or advice, Byker Community Housing Office will be open as normal.



Byker Fun Day and Participatory Budget 2014 Special Edition


Check out this special issue of the BCT newsletter with news of our Family Fun Day on Wednesday 23rd July and the launch of Byker's Participatory Budget Scheme 2014.



Word Search Update


Just to let BCT residents know that the closing date for the word search in the latest newsletter has been extended to July 25th. Don't forget to fill yours in for the chance to win £25 of Eldon Square voucher



New Community Hub

One Love

One Love North East, a local project that uses music and the arts to promote community involvement and personal development opened the doors of its new home at Chirton Wynd last month.

Since its launch in 2012, One Love has offered a range of cultural programmes open to everyone in Byker and now it’s expanding thanks to a £22,000 grant from the BCT, which has funded the move to new premises at the heart of the Byker Estate.

"The funding from the BCT has helped make our vision a reality, creating the One Love Hub as a brand new resource for the people of Byker", said Michael Andisen, founder of One Love. "It's also helped us tp purchase much-needed computer equipment and a live sound recording booth that will provide a resource for people right across the community



Bloom and Grow

Help Byker Gardens

This competition is aimed at everyone who takes pride in looking after where they live e.g. garden, yard, pots, baskets etc.

There are four entry categories:

Best Garden

Best balcony/ high rise garden in The Byker Wall

Best effort by a group (e.g residents, youth group, school, sheltered housing, adopted green space)

Best edible/kitchen garden (e.g herbs, fruit and vegetables but no allotments)

This is about community involvement and greening your neighbourhood. Be proud of your skills and showcase you gardening achievements.

If you would like to get involved the application form is below



Young People In Byker

New Apprentices Support

Byker YMCA has recruited two new apprentices who are now offering advice and support to young people on the Byker Estate.

Established 20 years ago at Dunn Terrace, and now with second base in Spires Lane Hobby Room, the YMCA offers a place for all young people in Byker to take part in a range of practical activities, as well as to receive advice and support they need.

Cally Hamilton and Connor Davidson successfully applied for the apprenticeship roles, which include one day each week in college and for working with the YMCA team.

"These appointments are a key part of our commitment to support young people in the East End by creating new opportunities for training and development," said Vicky Smith, Senior Youth Worker at Byker YMCA. "The roles offer a double benefit as Cally and Conor are able to support the young people of Byker who need it most, while developing their own skills and experience at the same time".

In addition to working with young people, Cally and Conor, who lives in the Byker Estate, are also helping with other community events such as 'Byker's Got Flair', and working with other organisations, including Byker Community Centre. Further funding from the CPB programme has also helped the YMCA's vital outreach work on the estate, which has allowed the team to engage with more young people than ever before.


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