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The Heat Is On

Raising awareness of and prompting discussion about the impact of climate change on Northumberland.

Who Took Part

Northumberland Strategic Partnership requested an audio visual presentation to launch its standing conference on climate change in December 2007.


Raise awareness of and prompt discussion about the impact of climate change on Northumberland. Galvanize the audience for the rest of the event to understand that Northumberland had the opportunity to acclimatize better than the rest of the UK if we make the right decisions today and tomorrow.

Project Outline

  • Produce a video using powerful images, facts and music to present to an audience what Northumberland’s climate will feel like by 2050.
  • Focus on the implications of emerging weather patterns on a range of issues including transport, housing, biodiversity,energy, education, health, leisure, economic development and planning.
  • Content to cover mitigation and adaptation
  • Facilitate a post-video discussion using images in the video as a starting point for the discussion.
  • Achieve all the above in a very tight budget

What Happened

  • Digital Voice proposed that the best way to motivate delegates within a tight budget was to combine powerful specially-composed music with recognisable stills obtained from a range of local organisations. This was enhanced by free archive video provided by One NorthEast and Digital Voice, audio interviews and a narration by nationally-known broadcaster Eric Robson.
  • DV also gave advice on various ways to reduce the carbon emissions of the event and motivate delegates


  • The result was a 14 minute video, The Heat is On. This opened the conference – it set the tone for the day by making clear how relevant climate change was to local people.
  • When delegates voted for top priorities for action, communication to the rest of the county came out on top and some people urged that every member of the population should have a copy of the DVD.
  • The audience was left highly motivated to take action.

Sharing The Results With Others

The video proved very popular and was taken up by many organisations across Northumberland – businesses agencies, voluntary organisations - to use in their own presentations. Thanks to large demand, there were two more reprints and 450 copies have been produced. The video is now streamed online.

Benefits for Participants

  • clear communication of message
  • achieved desire for action rather than despair

Clients and/or Funding

Lydia Speakman of Northumberland Strategic Partnership commissioned the project.

Who Else Would Benefit From This Sort of Project

This was a rare example of making the local impact of climate change very explicit. The same approach will be powerful for other local areas or for specific organisations – this is one of the best ways to make messages hit home.

How To Find Out More

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