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Our Update

New York, Newcastle, new campaign!

As part of the government-funded £10m Northern Futures tourism programme, we’ve been leading some marketing activity which will directly support United Airlines’ New York to Newcastle route, launching this weekend. The campaign, including digital advertising, media partnerships and PR activity, will target the New York and New Jersey area to attract inbound visitors via the new direct route.

Working closely with VisitEngland, VisitBritain and Newcastle Airport, we have developed a highly targeted campaign to raise awareness of the United Airlines’ route as a new gateway via Newcastle, to the whole of the North of England. Featuring stunning imagery and a direct ‘call to action’ to book now, the campaign creative highlights the range of visitor experiences on offer and the supporting microsite and PR activity will both inform and inspire potential visitors – and importantly, encourage them to book to visit this summer.

This is the first in a whole series of international campaigns that will form part of the government-funded £10m Northern Futures tourism programme. The programme proposal has been approved by the government; VisitEngland, VisitBritain and destination organisations across the North of England, such as ours, are now developing and finalising activity plans in the agreed target markets – US, Netherlands, Germany, Australia / New Zealand and China.

Within the next week, we will receive a call out for content from VisitEngland requesting product information for use in the wider Northern Futures programme activity. We will be coming out to relevant partners and venues for input; deadlines are tight so please do look out for the email and input where appropriate.

To find out more or to explore how you can support international marketing and PR activity this year, please contact Kathie Wilcox or Becky Madeley.

More about the Northern Futures Fund

A £10m Northern Futures Fund for tourism investment was announced by the government on the 6 November 2014. The total programme expenditure will be £20m, consisting of the core £10m Northern Futures funding from Central Government and £10m estimated match funding from partners in the public and private sectors. Match funding will be both cash funding and in-kind.

This fund is managed by VisitEngland, working closely with delivery partner VisitBritain and partner organisations from across the North of England, including NewcastleGateshead Initiative as one of 38 destinations.

The aim is to deliver a significant step-change in collaborative working to profile and promote the North of England internationally - through new, targeted and impactful activity which will change perceptions, grow leisure and business visitors, put the assets of the North firmly on the international map and deliver both long-term economic impact and the foundations for a lasting legacy for the visitor economy of the North. 

The programme aims to deliver an additional 2m visitor nights to the North of England equating to £177m in international visitor expenditure, and create 3,280 jobs.

The North for this purpose is defined as the old Government Office regions of Yorkshire and Humberside, North West and North East.

The target international markets are:

  • USA
  • Australia / New Zealand
  • Netherlands
  • Germany
  • China

About VisitEngland

VisitEngland is the country’s national tourist board and works in partnership with the industry to develop the visitor experience across England, plan national tourism strategy, grow the value of tourism in England and provide advocacy for the industry and our visitors.  VisitEngland’s work is underpinned by robust research and customer insights. You can access the latest in-depth market intelligence and statistics on

England is a unique destination and a real powerhouse in global tourism. It represents 84% of the total UK visitor economy, is worth £106bn, and supports 2.6m jobs.

For further information and to access the latest in-depth market intelligence and statistics visit or for consumer information.

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Invest Newcastle builds on success

With the economy of the city strengthening and development sites bringing new opportunities, we’re building on our recent business-winning success with an ambitious new strategy for the year ahead. Working with public and private sector partners across the region, Invest Newcastle will continue to attract and secure new investment and jobs for the city.

Over the past three years, Newcastle and Gateshead councils jointly commissioned us (NewcastleGateshead Initiative) to deliver a service to bring inward investment to the area and to support businesses to land here.

The team, led by our inward investment director, Catherine Walker, has now supported 48 projects to invest here, bringing 1,233 jobs and safeguarding another 994. A further 157 projects are in the pipeline, demonstrating the level of interest generated in this area as a great place to build a successful business. 

Earlier this year our biggest single success was announced, as Ubisoft - a leading creator and distributor of video games - officially opened its new Consumer Relationship Centre (CRC) in Newcastle. This investment was secured following significant support from our inward investment team and will deliver 100 jobs by the end of this year - with the ambition to continue growth to 200 team members and beyond in the coming years.

Due to government cuts affecting all councils, Gateshead Council took the difficult decision to remove its financial contribution to the inward investment service earlier this year. However, importantly, Gateshead Council is continuing to fund our role in tourism and destination marketing, working in close partnership with Newcastle City Council.

On the back of recent business-winning success, Invest Newcastle - the newly named business-winning service delivered by Catherine’s team here at NewcastleGateshead Initiative on behalf of Newcastle - will continue to deliver targeted and impactful activity to attract and secure new investment and jobs for the city.

Invest Newcastle is committed to partnership across the wider region to ensure that the area as a whole, with a critical mass of a two million population, is able to maximise its offer to investors and contribute to North East England’s Strategic Economic Plan.

We will therefore operate our inward investment service on a flexible boundary basis, drawing on assets and opportunities available across the region, and working constructively with other areas. We are collaborating with other members of the North East Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership, as well as the government’s agency UKTI, to strengthen our coordination and to support joint initiatives. 

The private sector has also been a great supporter of our work to win business and the day-to-day support from partners across different sectors has been critical to our success so far. For example, our innovative Soft Landing Programme has worked with businesses across a range of sectors – from business and professional services to PR - to provide an integrated support package to make new investors feel welcome and to find the investment sites that suit their business needs.

Going forward, we’ll continue working closely with private sector businesses and organisations over the coming year to build on and maximise our national and international inward investment activity, which will include:

  • Supporting and converting existing projects in the pipeline - creating and safeguarding significant numbers of jobs as a result.
  • Delivering targeted marketing, PR and business engagement activity to proactively generate new project leads and enquiries for the pipeline.
  • Driving forward work in key international markets by continuing to develop relationships with strategic cluster organisations, maintaining contact with intermediaries and nurturing leads and contacts already in the pipeline.
  • Playing a pro-active and collaborative role within the North East Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership; promoting sectors which operate across the region as a whole.

To find out more about Invest Newcastle or how your business could get involved, please contact Catherine or Jennifer on 0191 440 5720.

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Young people lead the way

Juice, our annual festival for and by children and young people, begins an exciting new phase in 2015 as one of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio Organisations. We were awarded three-year funding to support Juice Festival, which this year will see even more activity led by young ambassadors - working as curators, event managers, journalists, artists and advocates for the festival.

This year Juice will run from Friday 23 October to Sunday 1 November, offering families and young people an amazing range of performances, film and arts in theatres, galleries, museums and libraries across Newcastle and Gateshead. However, this year will also see events and performances in more unusual places: look out for young buskers on Northumberland Street, dancers around Grey’s Monument, a children’s all night TV station and even a world-record attempt for the largest mass selfie!

With the theme SEEN AND HEARD, Juice Festival 2015 will shine a spotlight on the creativity and talent of local children and young people. 

There are a range of sponsorship opportunities available for organisations interested in supporting Juice Festival and raising the profile of their business or brand in association with one of the UK’s most innovative and engaging festivals for and by children and young people. To find out more please contact Juice Festival director, Chris Batstone.

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The Tyne is now… for sharing

Our ‘The Tyne is now’ commercial - promoting city breaks here in NewcastleGateshead - is currently airing on YouTube. After a great response when first broadcast, the ad has been re-edited to include our spring 2015 campaign messages. Following requests from partners, we have also produced un-branded versions for you to use and share. To request files, contact Shelley Johnson.


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Conference wins showcase science success

Our Convention Bureau is celebrating after securing a string of high-profile, science–related conferences and events, worth an estimated £800k to the local economy. The events combined will showcase the area to over 600 national and international delegates and will shine a spotlight on the region’s economic and academic strengths in science and healthcare.

The 6th Annual Alliance for Healthy Ageing Conference: Interventions to Slow Down Ageing, will take place over five days in October 2015 at Slaley Hall in Hexham, while the joint International Society of Paediatric Oncology Europe Neuroblastoma (SIOPEN) Annual General Meeting and Neuroblastoma Research Symposium, worth £365k, will see over 250 experts visit the area in November 2015. This event will be one of the first conferences to be held at the new Crowne Plaza Newcastle - Stephenson Quarter, which opens in summer 2015. Once complete, the impressive seven-storey, 251-bed hotel will add a major new business conferencing and banqueting facility to the city.

Fuse, The Centre for Translational Research in Public Health, has chosen Hilton Newcastle Gateshead to host over 200 delegates for its Knowledge Exchange Conference in April 2016. The residential conference was secured working with The Institute of Health and Society at Newcastle University.

Paul Szomoru, head of business tourism at NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, said: “Winning these high-profile conferences is a huge coup for NewcastleGateshead and the wider region. It not only demonstrates that we have the meetings and conference facilities to host events of this calibre, it also recognises the fantastic scientific research capabilities at our universities.

“In addition, it will mean a steady stream of national and international business visitors will experience first-hand what the destination has to offer, providing a perfect showcase to potential leisure visitors of the future.

“All three events were secured through our Conference Ambassador Programme (CAP) - an initiative which has already supported academics, researchers, medics and business professionals to bid for and stage over 130 events to date, worth over £75m to the local economy. The CAP was first launched back in 2002 by NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau and a re-launch in September last year was designed to build momentum and engage with new ambassadors in order to bring even more academic conferences, meetings and events to the area.

“We can directly link both the SIOPEN and the Annual Alliance for Healthy Ageing Conference wins to new contacts we met at the re-launch event.”

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Share your news with Your Network

We’re changing the way you submit news to feature in our partner-to-partner monthly e-newsletter, Your Network. The new Your Network online submission form makes sharing your top news, developments and updates with our wide ranging 170 partner organisations - and more than 1,500 contacts across the North East - even easier.

Your Network is the best way to make sure your news reaches the breadth of the North East business community. Our partner network reaches across a range of different sectors from the region’s colleges and universities, to social enterprises, solicitors, hoteliers, cultural venues and many more.     

The Your Network online submission form allows you to submit the story exactly as you want it to appear in up to 300 words alongside an image. Over the past 15 years we’ve helped partners spread the word about everything from product launches and award wins to appointments and business successes.    

Your Network goes to all of our partner contacts in the first week of every month. The deadline has now passed for the June issue, but to ensure your news is included in July, please submit by Wednesday 17 June using the form.

Remember, our events upload form also allows you to share your latest event listings with over 160,000 unique monthly visitors via

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