Moving on to Greener Pastures


Kate Culverhouse outside Groundwork’s Land of Oak & Iron Heritage Centre

The Chief Executive of the North East’s leading environmental regeneration charity is leaving after 30 years with the organisation.

Kate Culverhouse has worked for 20 years as Chief Executive of Groundwork North East and Cumbria, having started as a West Durham community project officer in 1992.

Kate, who lives in Darlington, said: ‘Having survived COVID, furloughs and lockdown Groundwork has emerged as a strong and forward-looking organisation making positive changes to the lives of people and communities in the region.

‘We have a strong Board and Executive and a dynamic staff team. It seems the right time to hand over to someone else who can take the organisation to its next level.’

Groundwork North East and Cumbria works with individuals and communities to help improve prospects, encourage greener living and to create better quality environments, and it now employs more than 250 people based in neighbourhoods across the region.

Notable projects during her tenure include the development in 2006 of the first ever eco business centre in County Durham, The Greenhouse, instigating the regeneration of an underused industrial estate in Annfield Plain. In 2018 the Land of Oak and Iron Heritage Centre and Café was built and opened at Winlaton Mill and has become a popular centre for walkers, local heritage and the arts.

Kate said: ‘I am a passionate advocate for the strength and impact of the voluntary and community sector in the North East and am proud to have been part of the development of a wide-ranging programme of regeneration, employment training, education, youth work and environmental advice for businesses and individuals.’

Over the years Kate also served as a trustee of VONNE (Voluntary Organisation Network North East) and supported many other charitable organisations. She is a trustee of Urban Green which maintains and develops the parks in Newcastle upon Tyne, as well as a member of the South Park Foundation and Community Carnival, both in Darlington.

Kate is a mentor for new and emerging leaders in the region and her work has been recognised at awards including the Regional Business Awards for Women.