Arvon North

Arvon North is an ambitious and transformational capital project to adapt Lumb Bank, one of Yorkshire’s most iconic literary houses, into a beacon of creativity for the North.

Deep in the beautiful Calder Valley amongst the relics of the Industrial Revolution lies Lumb Bank, former home of the late Poet Laureate Ted Hughes. Its five buildings set in 20 acres of steep woodland are suffused with literary heritage. It has been an Arvon residential writing house since 1975 and has welcomed over 75,000 writers of all ages and stages through its doors. Almost half a century later, the need to connect people with their creativity is more pertinent than ever and our ambitious Lumb Bank redevelopment plan will transform Arvon’s Northern writing house both physically and operationally.

What will a redeveloped Lumb Bank look like? A redeveloped Lumb Bank will be open and accessible, and the communal spaces will embody the creativity that is at the heart of Arvon. This will include:

• Making the buildings more sustainable (lowering energy costs and cutting carbon emissions by 50%)
• Upgrading the accommodation across the site to include accessible bedrooms on all floors and en-suite bathrooms throughout (resulting in an expected 10% increase in residential course fee income)
• The creation of a dedicated writing barn and social hub to deliver community outreach work
• Establishing a library celebrating Northern writers alongside the works of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath
We want to position Lumb Bank as an engine-house for creative writing development in the North of England, connecting the rich literary collateral of the region with a community of writers locally, regionally, nationally and globally. We need your help to ensure this project becomes a reality.

Lumb Bank is the most inspiring place imaginable for writers. I defy anyone not to be inspired by this most magical of settings.’ – Louise Doughty, novelist and Arvon tutor

One of the best experiences in my life for sure [was] that week in Lumb Bank. Words cannot describe that feeling, you just have to experience it.’ – Asylum seeker from Halifax, who attended Lumb in August 2022