Now we all need to try to do what we can to make things happen – actions to help towards ensuring Alston Moor is a thriving community in five, ten, and more years’ time.

There’s a team working on some big things that will need major funding, but most of the Plan will be progressed through individuals and small groups putting in a little time and effort, often over a relatively short period of time for any one project.  

We’d be really grateful if you were able to help.  We’re going to be posting up a different action from the Community Plan every week or two.  Some of the actions are straightforward ‘research’ – just searching online or through people you know and/or making phone calls, to get information about the particular issue and writing down what you learn.  Others are more practical and involve people getting out, perhaps with a spade or a hammer and nails!  All these things will help everyone on Alston Moor.

So – here’s our first challenge! 
Can you, on your own or in small group, find out what is need to establish a smokehouse?  This information could then be used to encourage someone locally to set up such a business, or attract someone to come and live here and do this.

Some of the questions you might try to answer are these:
•what is the construction of a commercial smokehouse?  
•how much space does it take?  What is it likely to cost? (obviously there will be a range of possibilities from fairly small to enormous – small/medium are probably what would be appropriate to an Alston Moor business)
•are there any particular planning issues?
•what is involved in operating a smokehouse?
•what can be smoked?  Which particular fish and meats work best? Which vegetables and fruit are suitable, what sort of cheeses work well?  
•where is a relatively nearby smokehouse that we could go and visit? (we need to know the owner is happy to be visited)
In the course of finding these things out, there are bound to be other questions you realise need answering – we hope you will include them.

Please let us know if you are willing to take on this task, and whether you would like to do it alone or would prefer to be part of a small team.  We will put people in touch with each other if they say they would like to work in a team (as we expect most people would).

If you will need to pay for anything, please check with us before undertaking the expenditure, and if we (almost certainly!) agree it’s needed, we will reimburse you from the small Community Plan support fund we have.  

This particular action is in the Community Plan at Action 3b6.  Section 3b covers the local production of food.  Being able to market Alston Moor ‘specialties’ could be very good for the local economy.