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Industry News

Iconic Quayside building unveiled

The Live Works building, offering 14,000 sq ft of new, purpose-built Grade A office accommodation on its stunning Quayside site, is on programme to be completed by late summer. Designed by Flanagan Lawrence, the building enjoys stunning views and natural light and the elegant, contemporary stone façade is designed to sit comfortably with the neighbouring Customs House.

Marketed by Knight Frank and designed by Flanagan Lawrence (Jason Flanagan was one of the project architects on Sage Gateshead), the building has column-free floor plates with stunning views and natural light on all levels.

External terraces on the third, second and first floors give spectacular views of the cityscape, south to the river, Sage Gateshead, and the Tyne Bridge and Gateshead Millennium Bridge, and to the north across landscaped gardens and Georgian courtyard to All Saint’s Church, listed almshouses and Live Theatre.

The development is designed to create new revenue streams for Live Theatre from rental income, and to extend Live Theatre’s work using drama to unlock literacy in children and young people through the opening of a new children and young people’s writing centre in one of the listed almshouses.

Jason Flanagan, Architect, said: “Throughout we have been aware of the historic nature of the location and the need to design a scheme that complements the location which is one of Europe’s best-known river frontages. We are confident that the completed scheme will bring out the best of this outstanding part of Newcastle.”

Jim Beirne, Chief Executive, Live Theatre, said: “We are creating an exceptional business and community development in this burgeoning creative and cultural quarter of the city.”

Live Works is supported by a £2.5m grant from the North East European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Programme 2007 to 2013, Arts Council England, and loans from Newcastle City Council and grants from The Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust, the Gillian Dickinson Trust, The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the Monument Trust, Garfield Weston Foundation, The Sir James Knott Trust, the Social Investment Business and the Wolfson Foundation.

For information and site viewing, contact letting agents Knight Frank on (0191) 221 2211 or visit the new website

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Entries open for Tourism Awards 2015

Tourism leaders are calling on businesses to celebrate their own achievements and the quality of the £3.6bn visitor economy here in the region, by entering the North East England Tourism Awards 2015. To find out more or to download an application form, visit the website; the deadline for entries is Friday 4 September 2015.

James Berresford, chief executive at VisitEngland, said: “The region has a tremendous amount to offer visitors and I am confident that domestic and international visitors arriving for the Rugby World Cup this autumn are in store for something special. As an industry we need to embrace the challenge of providing world-class experiences to visitors to keep up with our global competitors. The North East England Tourism Awards 2015 is an opportunity for businesses across the region to demonstrate the very best that’s on offer.”

Sarah Stewart, chief executive at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, commented: “The tourism sector is an important part of the economy of North East England, supporting 54,000 jobs, and the regional awards provide a platform to remind everyone that the tourism industry is a key part of the continued success of the North East. I’d encourage all of the area’s tourism businesses to think about how they’ve excelled in the last year and enter the awards.”

Entries for this year’s North East England Tourism Awards opened on Thursday 11 June. They are organised and delivered by NewcastleGateshead Initiative in partnership with the Northern Tourism Alliance and local authorities across the region. The gala awards dinner will take place on Tuesday 24 November at Newcastle Civic Centre.

Winners at the North East England Tourism Awards 2015 will have the chance to compete nationally at VisitEngland’s Excellence Awards. Earlier this year, seven North East businesses went on to see success nationally following the 2014 awards, they were Matfen Hall (Large Hotel of the Year - gold), St Cuthbert’s House (Sustainable Tourism Award - silver), Event Durham (Business Tourism Award – silver), Kielder Winter Wonderland – Northumbrian Water Leaplish Waterside Park (Tourism Event of the Year – silver), Durham Visitor Information Network (Visitor Information Provider of the Year – bronze),  Seafield Caravan Park (Holiday Park of the Year – bronze), and The Cycle Hub (Tourism Experience of the Year – highly commended). 

The Northern Tourism Alliance is a collaboration of the region’s tourism bodies which work together on projects that will benefit the tourism industry across the region. The founding members of the alliance are NewcastleGateshead Initiative, Northumberland Tourism, Visit County Durham, and The North East Hotels Association. The Awards are also supported by Northumberland County Council, South Tyneside Council, North Tyneside Council and Sunderland City Council.

North East England Tourism Awards 2015 – Categories
• Access for All
• Bed & Breakfast / Guest Accommodation of the Year
• Business Tourism Award
• Caravan Holiday Park / Holiday Village of the Year
• Large Hotel of the Year
• Large Visitor Attraction of the Year
• Self Catering Holiday Provider of the Year
• Small Hotel of the Year
• Small Visitor Attraction of the Year
• Sustainable Tourism Award
• Taste of England Award
• Tourism Experience of the Year
• Tourism Pub of the Year
• Visitor Information Provider of the Year
• Tourism Event of the Year  

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Meet the investor applications open

Applications are now open for Meet the Investor, part of the region’s annual innovation conference Venturefest North East. The event allows businesses taking part to introduce their ideas and swap business cards with 25 investors, representing billions of pounds worth of funding sources. Applications are invited from businesses, charities and social enterprises at

Venturefest North East director Simon Green said: “The process of raising funding for a business can mean meeting with many investors before finding the right one. Meet the Investor is about making this process simpler and increasing the chances of businesses raising the funding they need.

“The format is fast and friendly but also very effective. It allows businesses to build a rapport with each investor and tailor the conversation to their interests. If the two prove a good match then a more formal follow-up meeting will be arranged to develop the relationship and explore exciting opportunities to work together.”

Venture capital fund managers, angel investors, banks and representatives of crowdfunding platforms will be on the lookout for ideas to support with everything from £1,000 start-up loans to multi-million-pound investments. The investors are focused on identifying innovative businesses with strong potential in a broad range of business sectors and stages of growth, from social enterprise to tech start-ups and from the creative industries to high-value manufacturing.

Meet the Investor builds on the success of last year’s event, which enabled 51 businesses to take part in over 250 one-to-one meetings, with 17 businesses being offered funding as a direct result.

Prior to the event, businesses are given support from the Business Growth Service to refine their business proposition and polish their presenting skills. They are then allocated slots with potential funders that best suit their market and stage of development.

Wesley Hartley, investment manager at Northstar Ventures, took part in last year’s event and is looking forward to meeting more businesses in October. He said: “The strength of the event is its focus on getting businesses ready for investment prior to the meetings. Often when we meet businesses for the first time they pitch very well but when we get under the hood of the actual business proposition it isn’t actually developed enough to be viable.

“Meet the Investor spends time preparing companies for the meetings, ensuring their ideas are fully developed and they are confident communicating them. When we make an investment we are investing in the person behind the idea as much as we are the idea itself so this event is especially exciting as it introduces us to lots of potential new companies at once.”

Venturefest North East is a key element of the North East LEP’s innovation programme and is part of a national network of innovation conferences supported by UK innovation agency Innovate UK and the Knowledge Transfer Network

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