Thursday 22 May 2014

DIY Streets for the Ouseburn

Today's xsite is Nita...

DIY Streets is an initiative by Sustrans that provides funding for communities who want to improve their local streets, with an emphasis on sustainable travel such as cycling, walking and public transport. xsite are helping facilitate DIY streets scheme for the Ouseburn Valley, alongside the Ouseburn Futures group. Newcastle City Council Highways department are also involved in the process, in order to ensure that any initiatives work in tandem with the Council’s own schemes for the valley. As a business based in the valley and general Ouseburn fans we’re delighted to be part of this process.

An initial workshop at Ernest and a survey of over 100 people and businesses in the area was conducted to determine what issues were most pressing and which streets most in need of improvement. From this there was a broad consensus that Lime Street, Stepney Bank, Stepney Road and Shieldfield Lane would be the most appropriate streets for a pilot DIY Streets scheme. Further open workshops to discuss these streets were advertised to local businesses via a flyer drop and social media.

xsite led 2 workshops with interested parties at the Ouseburn Farm on 19th and 21st of May this week, to establish a brief for the DIY Streets works. These consisted of a walk around the streets with the group followed by discussion in groups around plans of the streets with ideas and priorities noted.

There were loads of great ideas put forward at the workshops. xsite now have the task of distilling this into some design proposals for further consultation around mid June. For more information visit the Ouseburn Futures website at

Wednesday 14 May 2014


Today's xsite is Neringa...

Last Saturday xsite were braving the wilderness.

The Arborescent project lead by the talented Ed Carter promised 3 unique musical performances in an extraordinary setting – Kielder forest. xsite were asked to compose one of the graphic scores – a visual piece of music that was yet to be invented by musicians playing glass percussion instruments, a tuba and a trumpet.

In our piece, we asked the audience to take part by wandering into the forest and reading the symbols left on trees to be deciphered according to one’s own reason. Such conscious meandering made for a strange exhibition of sound where music, sometimes resembling a distant sound of a wild predator, travelled closer and further as if trying to influence one’s reason.

The sound was moving and the venue was uncanny.

We couldn’t have asked for a more enjoyable cultural weekend out in nature and judging from great comments after the event – the participants felt the same.