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Our Update


Bid to host World Games

 Having hosted the most successful British Transplant Games ever last year, NewcastleGateshead is currently bidding to host the World Transplant Games in summer 2019. Earlier this month we hosted a panel visit from the World Transplant Games Federation – Chris Thomas, President (Australia), Kim Renyard, Executive Manager (South Africa) and Colin White, Treasurer (Ireland) – which included a packed itinerary showcasing key venues and the destination’s credentials as a host city. Having been shortlisted alongside Houston in Texas, the visit will help to inform a final decision in July.

Andy Eddy, Chairman of Transplant Sport, the charity which organises the annual British Transplant Games, said: “As a transplant recipient and a competitor in the British Transplant Games, I know first-hand the role sport can play in building confidence and improving quality of life. The Games – both the British and World Games – provide a great platform to highlight the need for organ donors and to celebrate the gift of life enjoyed by transplantees right across the globe.”

In 1987 the World Transplant Games Federation – whose purpose is to visibly demonstrate the benefits of successful organ transplantation, work to increase public awareness of its success and thereby increase organ donation rates - was officially formed to drive forward the Games as a vehicle to achieve these objectives. The Summer World Transplant Games now take place every two years and the Winter Games in the intervening years. The competitors are unique in that each one of them is alive and well as a result of a successful organ transplant. Were it not for that transplant these competitors may well be dead or have to endure long hours of dialysis as in the case of patients with kidney failure. The Games embrace all ages, anyone from 4 - 80 years old who qualifies is welcome to participate. There are over 50 events to suit all capabilities including athletics, 10 pin bowling, swimming, racquet sports, golf, volleyball, lawn bowls and cycling.

Chris Thomas, President of the World Transplant Games Federation, said: “The World Transplant Games would provide a unique opportunity to cast a spotlight on a social and health issue that knows no boundaries, whether race, creed, religion or social background.

“The UK is a diverse cultural society and the concept of bringing transplant recipients here from 65 countries across the world would help embed the values of organ donation in all cultural groups in Great Britain.

“We are pleased with the NewcastleGateshead bid and what we have seen thus far – the city has certainly put its best foot forward.”

Graham Wylie, chair of the local organising committee for the British Transplant Games in 2015 and for the 2019 World Transplant Games bid team, said: “Being involved with the British Transplant Games was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Last year we delivered the most successful Games ever; more than 850 transplant athletes from across the UK and 2,500 spectators came together for a four day celebration of sport – powered by the gift of life.

“This experience has inspired both myself and partners across NewcastleGateshead to continue this commitment to raise awareness of transplantation and encourage more people to sign on the NHS Organ Donor Register. We have the venues, the facilities but most importantly, the passion and commitment to inspire a generation. Being the host destination for the World Transplant Games would galvanise support across the destination and we’re confident we can deliver a truly memorable event that not only champions Transplant Sport, but also celebrates the truly unique competitors who inspire greatness.”

The NewcastleGateshead World Transplant Games bid has been developed through a partnership approach led and co-ordinated by NewcastleGateshead Initiative (destination marketing agency for NewcastleGateshead) and MLS (the event management company involved in co-ordinating the British Transplant Games) in support of the official bidding organisation Transplant Sport UK. Other key partners include: Newcastle City Council, Gateshead Council, Newcastle University, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHF Foundation Trust and Graham Wylie (chair of the local organising committee).

The World Transplant Games was last staged in the UK in 1995 when Manchester hosted the event.

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Science Central developments power ahead

Major developments on Newcastle Science Central are underway and we (through our Invest Newcastle and NGI Solutions teams) have been working closely with the Newcastle Science City Partnership and Newcastle City Council to proactively promote the opportunities on site, as well as enhancing Science Central’s profile locally, nationally and globally. Developments include two new national centres of excellence, the Newcastle Laboratory – a hub for medical and sustainable sciences, and the Urban Sciences Building which will house a number of ground breaking projects.

National Centres of Excellence

 Two new national knowledge hubs were recently announced which will be based on Newcastle Science Central. First to arrive is the £20m EPSRC National Centre for Energy Systems Integration, a centre that will allow experts to test the entire energy system in real time.

The National Centre for Energy Systems Integration will bridge a pivotal gap in the partnerships drive towards a fully integrated, smart energy network, the centre is crucial to improving energy efficiency, driving down customer bills and reducing carbon emissions.

The second, which was announced by George Osbourne in the latest budget, is the £30 million National Institute for Smart Data Innovation (NISDI), which will unleash the potential offered by big data.

NISDI will bring together industry, the public sector and world-leading academics to develop the skills, ideas and resources needed to exploit the opportunities offered by the explosion in digital data.

Newcastle Laboratory

Science Central will become a hub for medical and sustainable sciences with research taking place in a new Newcastle Laboratory, providing 7,100 sq metres of commercial laboratory space with supporting office accommodation for science-based companies.

A design team has now been appointed at Ryder Architecture, and outline design proposals have been developed, following which planning consent will be sought.

It is anticipated that building work will start on Science Central in early 2017, and the facility is expected to be up and running by Spring 2018.

Urban Sciences Building

Currently under construction on site and opening in autumn 2017 the 100,000 sq ft building will create a new home for Newcastle University’s Institute for Sustainability and The School of Computing Science.

The Urban Sciences Building will house a number of ground breaking projects including the creation of a unique £2 million grid-connected energy storage test bed in collaboration with Siemens, the Urban Observatory which will collect a diverse set of data from across the city of Newcastle, and the Decision Theatre which will use data from the Urban Observatory to facilitate public and stakeholder engagement around urban sustainability.

The building and the surrounding city area will become a ‘living laboratory’ underpinning research to make urban centres more sustainable for future generations.

Learning & Teaching Centre

The Learning & Teaching Centre will be Newcastle University’s third building on site, due to open in 2019. Prospective designs see the floor plan arranged in the form of a shell where the flexible auditorium space can be reconfigured to create a range of lecture theatres of different sizes, seating up to 750 people. Following the perimeter of the curve of the ‘shell’ on the ground floor will be an exhibition space and cafe.

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International buyers head North

At the end of last month, our award-winning Convention Bureau (awarded Silver for best UK Convention Bureau at the M&IT Awards earlier this year) hosted a major international FAM trip. Working with colleagues from Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester, we hosted a group of international conference organisers on a large-scale familiarisation trip across Northern England. Part of the £10m Northern Tourism Growth Fund programme to promote the region in key international markets, £1m was used for activity to maximise international conferences and events coming to Northern England.

Northern destinations attended IMEX Frankfurt before bringing a group of international buyers to the region on the FAM trip. Across four days the delegates saw the region first-hand, visiting diverse venues as well as the unique experiences that make the North so distinctive. Their itinerary stretched from a visit to Liverpool’s UNESCO World Heritage Site to meeting a knight in shining armour at the Newcastle Castle, via the grandeur of Manchester Town Hall and The Mansion in Leeds. Feedback from the delegates attending the trip was overwhelmingly positive.

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