Moretonhampstead Development Trust is a registered charity (Registered Charity No 1105114 Company Ltd by Guarantee No 5133939) that was established to cater to our community’s wants and needs, and drive change. Our team works hard to ensure Moretonhampstead is a flourishing, dynamic place to live and visit, where every person feels included and supported. For the past 25 years, the Trust has been providing new facilities and services for Moretonhampstead and its surroundings and supporting groups and organisations that are making a positive impact.
The Trust has proudly delivered many projects within the community across its broad objectives. In 1996 the National Lottery funded Dartmoor Flight arts project brought locally produced and specifically place-relevant art directly into the community. Town railings were personalised with local wildlife, contemporary statues celebrated the Dartmoor pony and 4ft wide sparrowhawk, a bird synonymous with the town, was erected in the town Sqaure, delivering a community-wide sense of pride in our natural environment, in our local artisans and in the town's heritage.
Over 30 volunteers worked with the Trust to plant over 30 fruit trees on land leased by the Trust from Devon County Council This Community Orchard continues to be a much-used community space. Learning Village, a skills development project attracted funding from UK On-line and the Learning Transformation Fund and delivered over 350 learning places in IT, gardening, yoga, languages, history, dowsing, painting and drawing, and craft. Many of the participants went on to become valued Trust volunteers.
In 2012 Devon County Council transferred the old village school building to the Trust. A public appeal raised £15,000 locally for refurbishment works and this attracted further grants from the Dartmoor Sustainable Development Fund, the national Community Builders scheme, the Regional Development Programme for England, and from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The result is the wonderful Green Hill Arts, Youth and Heritage Centre, which includes Dartmoor’s leading art gallery and the Arts and Craft shop, The Yard youth centre and local heritage archives.
Following concerns regarding social care delivery in the area the Trust conducted a feasibility study in 2014 and established NEDcare, connecting people to local private carers. A successful crowd funded appeal by the Trust then supported a CQC registration process and the creation of a subsidiary CIC in 2017. NEDcare now stands alone and is a much-valued part of the community, having progressed from originally offering less than 100 care hours per month to over 1000 hours in 2022. Recognising the impact of reduced statutory provision also around tourism and community signposting, the Trust funded and opened the town’s Information Centre, subsequently also supporting its transition to a separate entity.
The Trust’s Green Hill site is an open access, public space. There is a gallery space for the exhibition program of national artists, a central circulation area for local artists and historical displays, a community archive room run by the History Society, offices for small businesses, and workshops/ studios to support local artists. Upstairs is the Parish Council office and a large public meeting space.
Wellmoor is the Trust’s project delivery arm of the Trust. It enables community well-being through projects in response to the needs of local people, taking guidance from a Wellmoor Steering Committee made-up of various key stakeholders such as the local Primary Care Network, and offers support across communities in North-East Dartmoor, including Moretonhampstead, Chagford and Okehampton.
Green Hill Arts is the art gallery run by the Trust and is now one of Devon's most prominent galleries attracting some of the most respected South West artists, such as Peter Randall-Page, Susan Derges, and Peter Stiles who have become synonymous with Green Hill Arts over the last five years, having exhibited in the Gallery's large attractive contemporary space, and this has supported Green Hill Arts developing outreach programme, as well as the more established exhibition programme.
Over the last 12 months the Trust has been working on the structure in order become more operationally efficient and increase diversity and accountability to our community; we have four new trustees, and we are drawing up terms of reference to initiate a regular Trust & Community Stakeholder Group. We have a new logic framework in place with a linked monitoring plan to help us improve our impact and evaluation.