Sam editor pic smallHello and welcome to the Alston Moor Social Enterprise Town website, which celebrates Alston Moor's status as the UK's first ever Social Enterprise Town. What you are hopefully about to enjoy reading, watching and listening to is the culmination of the skills and experience I have gained over the last three years studying for a degree in journalism at the University of Cumbria, it gives me great joy to present to you my final university project.

When it came to deciding what I would like to do for my final project I knew I wanted it to be something which fired my imagination, a story I really wanted to tell and of course was worth telling.

Having first tried on journalistic shoes and loving the fit as the Garrigill village reporter for the local community website hosted by Cybermoor, way back in 2006 and subsequently writing many more stories over the years about the interesting and dynamic community that is Alston Moor, I felt it was only right that I should dedicate my final project to telling one of Alston Moor's most recent intriguing and fascinating stories, namely how this small rural place nestling unassumingly atop of the North Pennines came to be a national, if not world, leader in the social enterprise sector.

It has been my pleasure to spend the last few months meeting and hearing the stories of some of Alston Moor's most innovative, passionate and inspiring people who really care deeply about the place where they live and work tirelessly to make it better through alternative solutions.

I would also like to thank The University of Cumbria's 'Unite with Business' graduate placement programme, which supported me to work with Cybermoor to complete this project.

I truly hope you enjoy the website and the series and if you are not from these here parts it gives you just a small glimpse into what makes Alston Moor and its people so unique and what has led them to be one of the UK's hotspots for social enterprise and perhaps it may even inspire you to do something similar where you live. For those who are lucky enough to live in this wild and wonderful land, I hope you get to discover a few things you perhaps didn't know about Alston Moor and its social enterprise pioneers, I know I have.

Samantha Ridley



With Thanks To ...

I would like to say a huge thanks to all those people who are featured in the series and took the time to let me interview, film and record them.I would also like to thank those who have allowed the use of their photographs to accompany my own.

  • Simon Danby
  • Independent on Sunday
  • Sam Simmons
  • SouthTynedale Railway Preservation Society
  • Tony Pennell
  • Social Enterprise UK
  • North Pennines AONB
  • Sam Burt
  • Paul Crabtree
  • Sharon Rourke
  • English Heritage
  • Daniel Heery
  • Tim Angier
  • Mary Hayward
  • Sue Gilbertson

I hope I have remembered everyone, but if not, please let me know and I will add you to the list.