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Ouseburn Valley shown within Tyne and Wear
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The Ouseburn Valley is the name of the valley of the Ouseburn, a small tributary of the River Tyne, running southwards through the east of Newcastle upon Tyne, England. The name refers particularly to the urbanised lower valley, spanned by three impressive bridges, which is nowadays a cultural and social oasis close to the centre of Newcastle.
The lower Ouseburn was the cradle of the industrial revolution in Newcastle. There was a cluster of heavy crafts and industries in the area. Coal was brought from the Town Moor along the Victoria Tunnel, where the tidal nature of the Ouseburn allowed wherries – the local barges – to be loaded at low tide and pulled out to the collier brigs and snows waiting in the Tyne.
The lower Ouseburn Valley had fallen into disuse and dereliction by the mid-twentieth century, but its industrial heritage had left many large buildings which, since the 1970s, have increasingly been utilised as creative workspaces by artists, musicians and performers. From 1996, a development trust (the Ouseburn Trust), in partnership with the local authority, has led the area's regeneration as a cultural hotspot. This has been so successful that Ouseburn is now marketed as a trendy place to live.
The area is now a hub for the arts and creative industries, and is home to the Biscuit Factory (open gallery), the Mushroom Works (open first weekend of the month), Testhouse 5 (appointment only), North Grange Glass (stained glass gallery and cafe), 36 Lime Street and Cobalt Studios. The Valley is also the home of Seven Stories, the national centre for children's books.
The Ouseburn Trust remains a landlord and developer in the Valley, and seeks to involve people in the heritage and regeneration of the area through its programme of free walks, talks and volunteering activities.
The Valley is home to a number of pubs known locally for live music and real ale: Free Trade (at the confluence with the Tyne, with a good view of the bridges upriver), The Tyne Bar, the Cumberland Arms, The Ship Inn, The Tanners, The Kiln, Cobalt Studios and The Cluny.
The Valley has its own community wiki, created by Alex Finnegan, founder of PuppetShip CIC.