Groundwork NE & Cumbria has appointed Kim McGuiness as the new Programme Manager on its North of the Tyne initiative.

In her new role, based in Northumberland, Kim will be responsible for the managing and expanding Groundwork’s existing North of the Tyne programme across the local authority areas of Northumberland, North Tyneside and Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, reaching from the River Tyne to the Scottish Border.

Before joining Groundwork, which aims to improve the lives of people living in local communities and preserve the environment in these areas, Kim gained a broad level of experience working as Head of Opportunities at The University of York Students’ Union, and as Education Sector Manager at Endsleigh Insurance Services. Through these roles she worked extensively with students to gain a deep understanding of their needs and establishing the best way to provide them with the support needed.

Kim is also the Elected Councillor for Lemington Ward and Cabinet Member for Communities, Culture and Sport with Newcastle City Council. This gives her a breadth of experience of working within the local community in Newcastle and an understanding of how to make necessary improvements.

The North of the Tyne programme has had many successes since its launch, including the North Tyneside Rewards and Incentives Campaign, which has worked with schools and within the local community to encourage recycling through roadshows and workshops. The project has engaged more than 22,000 adults and youngsters in the area since it began in 2013.

Kate Culverhouse, Chief Executive of Groundwork NE & Cumbria, said: “We are delighted to welcome Kim to the Groundwork team. Our North of the Tyne programme has already proved successful, and with the experience Kim brings to the role, we know that she will do a fantastic job expanding the reach of the programme. She has a wealth of experience working closely with local communities in both her employed and elected roles, and we are excited to see how she will move the programme forward.”

Kim McGuiness said: “I’m really excited to join the team at Groundwork NE & Cumbria to help expand the number of projects the North of the Tyne programme works on, and broadening the reach of its work.

“I am looking forward to working with a number of different partners, including the local authorities, voluntary groups and commercial partners to improve the community and environmental heritage in areas north of the Tyne. There are a number of fantastic projects that are already underway which are making a real impact, the aim is to grow the programme for the benefit of communities.

“Groundwork has a history of working with local communities to make huge improvements both from a cultural and environmental perspective. I hope that the experiences I have from both my work for Newcastle City Council and from my previous employment will be beneficial to Groundwork and will lead to a very successful future.”