Locals know that Ouseburn Valley is a great place to live, work and play so no wonder it inspired top poet, author and broadcaster Ian McMillan to put pen to paper and write a tribute to the area after it was shortlisted for the prestigious Great Neighbourhood Award by the Academy of Urbanism.


The poem celebrates how a mix of housing, small businesses and creative industries has combined with Ouseburn’s unique heritage and culture to create a new, lively community in a historic setting.

Now the poem, which was presented at the awards ceremony in November, will take pride of place in the Ouseburn Trust Offices where everyone will be able to enjoy it.

Although Ouseburn was narrowly beaten to top spot by Ashley Vale in Bristol the judges praised Ouseburn for “reflecting a different approach to regeneration with a mix of organic and managed development and a strong open-minded master plan.”

This accolade is the latest recognition for Ouseburn Valley, an area that until recently, was known more for its industrial heritage than as a place to live.  Yet following investment from the public and private sector and, with support from local residents, it was named one of the top 10 places to live in the UK last year.

Councillor Stephen Powers, Cabinet Member for Policy and Communication and Ouseburn’s Ward Councillor said “I wasn’t sure what to expect when I was told a poem had been written about Ouseburn but when I read it I was thrilled at just how much it reflected the spirit of the area and what we have been trying to achieve.”

“We could have put the poem in the Civic Centre but felt it was more appropriate for it to be on display in the Valley that pays homage to, a place where the people who live, work and play here can pop in to see it.”

Chris Barnard, Chief Officer at Ouseburn Trust said “A lot of people have put a lot of time and energy into making Ouseburn a great place to live and this poem is a lasting tribute that recognises the hard work of everyone involved.”