Heritage firm digs in at Utass base
By Nicky Carter - Reporter
A LEADING national heritage and archaeology consultancy, which aims to help farmers and landowners in Teesdale navigate the planning process, has set up shop in Middleton-in-Teesdale.
Orion Heritage has offices in Brighton, Worcester, Manchester and has opened a new base in Middleton-in-Teesdale, within the Utass (Upper Teesdale Agricultural Support Services) building.
Craig Huddart, principal archaeologist, who moved to Holwick in August last year, will be the lead member of the Orion team in the north east and Scotland.
Mr Huddart, who has more than 20 years’ experience in the archaeology field, said: “We don’t have field staff. It’s a very different side of archaeology.”
He added: “Understanding how a development might affect buried archaeological remains or above ground heritage assets is a requirement of the planning system in the UK.
“If we scope out archaeology it can save landowners money and it preserves the archaeology.
“We want to help landowners and make them aware that if they engage very early on in the process, it can save money.”
He added: “The farming landscape here in the Pennines has a rich archaeological character with many scheduled monuments and heritage assets.
“We’re here to provide expert advice to local farmers and businesses, as well as to larger scale clients throughout the region.”
Mr Huddart said: “Although being in Middleton-in-Teesdale is quite remote, it has got good transport links and it is rich with archaeology and a great place to base ourselves, especially being able to link to such an established support organisation and to use a great space within their premises.”
Grace Crawford from Utass, said: “As an organisation we want to support other businesses to thrive here in Teesdale.
“We are keen to see our space used on a regular basis by our community and other partners and we are pleased to welcome Orion Heritage as a regular partner using our venue as their base.”