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Industry News

Accolade for live action show

A live action night show depicting 2,000 years of British history through the eyes of the North East has been named one of the world’s best new tourist attractions for 2016. ‘Kynren – an epic tale of England’, which launches with the first of 14 open air shows in Bishop Auckland on 2 July, has been named by travel publisher Rough Guides in its list of high-profile attractions opening around the globe this year.

Kynren will take audiences on a captivating journey from Roman Times to the Viking invasions, the industrial revolution and Second World War.  The show will take place on a 7.5 acre stage set in the loop of the River Wear against a backdrop of the magnificent Auckland Castle.  Involving more than 1000 volunteers, it is expected to attract nightly audiences of up to 8,000 across the summer months.
Kynren features in the Rough Guides list among the likes of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opening in Hollywood, USA and Independence Plaza in Houston’s Space Centre, which will house the first Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, NASA 905.

Reacting to the news, Anne-Isabelle Daulon, CEO of Eleven Arches, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have made the Rough Guides’ list among such an impressive array of global attractions.  Our ambition is that our show will be recognised as world-class and this is the first step to it being highlighted on an international stage.  It truly is a spectacle that County Durham, the wider region and the whole of the UK can be really proud of.

“The count-down to July is now stepping up apace and we are seeing ticket sales from UK wide with postcodes ranging the length and breadth of the country.”

Tickets for the show are now on sale priced £25-55 for adults and £19-41 for children. Early Bird discounts are available, with a 10% reduction on all tickets for people who snap them up by January 31, 2016.  For ticket bookings and further information about ‘Kynren – an epic tale of England’ visit or visit the Twitter feed #Kynren

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Leading tech company lands

Leading mobile technology specialist mkodo will this month open a technical hub – and its first office outside of London – here in Newcastle, providing an extension to its 35-strong team based in Tech City London. Mkodo, which supplies market-leading mobile CRM and commerce products to major brands and governments across the globe, chose to locate here after exploring over a dozen different UK cities.

Newcastle’s broad talent pool, high-quality graduates, low costs and buzzing city culture met all of the company’s criteria. However above all it was the commitment and support of Invest Newcastle, the universities and the wider tech community which solidified the company’s decision.

Stuart Godfree, MD at mkodo, said: “We are excited to continue the growth of our mobile technology business in the vibrant city of Newcastle. The city has a strong digital sector and excellent universities with which mkodo can engage to help drive our innovative and proven product range forward.”

Catherine Walker, inward investment director at Invest Newcastle, said: “We are delighted to welcome mkodo to the city and they are a great addition to the digital sector. They will bring additional expertise, create jobs and will undoubtedly enhance the city’s burgeoning reputation as a tech hot-spot.

“For Newcastle to be chosen over more than a dozen other locations for mkodo’s first office outside of London is a testament to not only the city’s competitive offering but also our increasingly strong digital presence within the UK.

“We’ve seen an influx of digital businesses, with our inward investment team supporting 21 businesses locating or expanding here in the past year. Our digital sector has also seen huge investment with £12.5m being invested in the city’s digital infrastructure, supporting the thousands of creative and digital businesses across Newcastle. Our ambition is to be internationally recognised as one of the top five cities in digital and technology by 2020 and attracting businesses such as mkodo is a further step towards achieving this.”

mkodo has taken office space in The Core, the city’s iconic new digital hub at Newcastle Science Central.

“The Core is an excellent choice for mkodo as it offers a superb space combined with the collaboration possibilities with other Core-located organisations. The Future Cities agenda of Newcastle Science Central also sits well with mkodo. Our mTarget product offers the potential to add an iBeacon infrastructure and ecosystem to buildings / venues, streets or cities. This can then be utilised to implement strategies and services that involve understanding the whereabouts of people / animals / assets and / or involve the dissemination of location-based information to users of those spaces,” said Sue Yoxall, ED, mkodo.

During mkodo’s 14 years in operation it has won numerous awards such as Innovation in Mobile Bingo. mkodo is planning to expand their Newcastle team rapidly and will be recruiting for roles throughout 2016.

Invest Newcastle is a service delivered by NewcastleGateshead Initiative on behalf of Newcastle. In partnership with Newcastle City Council, Invest Newcastle attracts and secures new investment and jobs for the city.

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Motel One Newcastle opens

Motel One Newcastle opened its doors in the heart of the city last month after a £12m investment.
The opening of the 222-bed luxury budget hotel in High Bridge marks the end of a project to transform its building, spearheaded by former building owners Lugano Group. Hebburn-based Kier Construction and Newcastle-based Patrick Parsons were involved in the building process, which created 100 jobs and unveiled a raft of original features, many of which have been retained.

Munich-based Motel One, which has more than 40 hotels in Germany and Austria, and three in the UK, agreed a long lease deal with Lugano Group back in 2012, when planning permission was also granted for the hotel.

The property owners then sold the property with the planning permission to Kier Property Developments, who have overseen an 18-month construction project before handing the completed building to Motel One.

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