A COLLABORATIVE scheme has provided a new opportunity for a North-East student.

The University of Northumbria has teamed up with the Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership to create a post for a tourism development intern.

Funded by CrossCountry Community Engagement Fund, Matthew Barrett will work alongside the rail partnership team to carry out a tourism audit of the Newcastle to Carlisle railway line.

He will also assist with its marketing plans over the next 12 months.

The student comes in to the role following two years at the University of Northumbria studying business management, during which time he covered several topics including finance and global economy, data interpretation and business analysis.

He also spent time looking at business planning in a heritage context at Wheelbirks Farm, in Stocksfield, an award-winning ice cream parlour.

Originally from Halifax, Matthew is said to be already settling into his new role and had already participated in the rail partnership’s heritage open day at Haltwhistle Railway Station, and he has also started on data collection that will support future projects.

Fiona Forsythe, officer at Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership, said: “The team is looking forward to working with Matthew in his new role with us.

“From research we have already, we know that many tourists use the Tyne Valley Line, but Matthew’s role will enable us to understand how we might be able to encourage more visitors to the line, as well as the many other attractions the area has to offer.”

The Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership is a not for profit limited company.