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Our Update

Proud about our partnership

This year we celebrate 15 years of successful public-private partnership. Partnership underpins everything we do and achieve at NewcastleGateshead Initiative; in our birthday year, we have worked with partners Unwritten Creative to develop a new proud partner logo that enables partners to shout about their support for our work and the region.

Our activity changes perceptions and delivers economic benefits for NewcastleGateshead and the wider region. We’re proud to deliver this work and we hope that you’re proud to support it.

You could use the logo on your website (if you could link back to, we'd be very grateful!), email signatures, intranet, corporate banners / pop ups and just about anywhere else you can think of where you’d like to tell your customers and other stakeholders that you’re a proud partner.

Black, white, gold, silver and bronze versions of the logo can be downloaded at If you’d like to see an example of how you could display the logo, Unwritten Creative has proudly displayed the black version in the footer of the agency's website.

If you’ve any questions, please get in touch with Kathie or Shelley – we’d be happy to help.

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Visit to secure Indian investment

Our inward investment team has just returned from a successful trade visit, as part of a proactive strategy to encourage more investment from India. The packed trip included meetings with Indian companies looking to invest in the UK, key intermediaries and multipliers, and attendance at India’s premier biotech conference, Bangalore Bio.

During the week-long trip, Jennifer Hartley, Senior Inward Investment Manager, worked through a schedule of 25 dedicated meetings in southern India promoting NewcastleGateshead as a place to invest.

India is a key market for us to build these links as it has opportunities in many of our sectors that are ripe for investment, including: manufacturing, health and science, digital and tech and business outsourcing. In addition to meeting companies looking to invest in the UK, Jennifer also met with UKTI India, Deloitte India, Karnataka Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Manufacturers Association and the animation, visual effects, games and comics cluster ABAI as well as attending Bangalore Bio, and the NASSCOM India Leadership Conference.

Speaking about her visit, Jennifer said:

“India is a place where business people really value face-to-face meetings and having a presence there is important to building those all-important business ties and securing investment projects. There are many synergies with ours and the Indian economy; it was great to be in Mumbai and Bangalore to explore the market and meet the businesses in the relevant sectors to promote why Newcastle and Gateshead are ideal options to consider growing their businesses. The visit has generated a number of promising leads and we’ll be working with the companies over the next few months to bring them to fruition.”

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Packed programme attracts visitors

February saw a packed programme of events and packed destination as a result. EAT! IN – including the popular drink-along screening of the Great Gatsby at the Lit and Phil, the sell-out BBC Radio 6 Music Festival and Chinese New Year celebrations in Newcastle’s Chinatown all boosted visitor numbers and saw hotel occupancy reach 97%.

For our EAT! IN festival in February we worked with partners at The Core, Food Newcastle and Newcastle, Gateshead and Sunderland colleges on the Future Chef competition pairing catering students with top restaurants (Blackfriars, Six, Jesmond Dene House and the Café 21 Group) and challenging them to create menus which tackled the issues affecting food in the future. A live final at The Core launched the EAT! IN Festival and was a brilliant platform to showcase the young talent of the region.

The closing event of EAT! IN moved away from the future and back to the 20s with an immersive drink-along screening of the Great Gatsby at the Lit and Phil, working closely with Newcastle College and a host of other partners (Tyneside Café Bar, Irvins, Two Fiths, French Oven and Semibreve Supper Club) to create a truly memorable event featuring over 1,500 matched cocktails and 3,000 canapes, music, dancing and moonshine over two evenings.

February also saw BBC Radio 6 Music festival arrive to NewcastleGateshead filling Sage Gateshead, The Boiler Shop, The O2 and Ouseburn venues The Cluny and The Cumberland Arms with music, talks and 20,000 people across the weekend. Extensive coverage for the region on Radio 6 Music and a hotel occupancy rate of 97% meant that the festival was a resounding success for NewcastleGateshead and a good example of the continuing partnership with BBC North.

Chinese New Year also fell in February and Newcastle’s Chinatown welcomed 10,000 people to celebrate the Year of the Sheep with food stalls and traditional Chinese Dragon and Lion dances. Organised in partnership with the Chinese Festivity Group, Newcastle’s celebration is the largest free celebration to take place in the North outside of Leeds.

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Bureau brings £11m economic boost

NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau has reported a strong year for business tourism with conference business wins generated by the bureau totalling £11.6m in 2014-15. Business secured by the bureau includes national and international association meetings worth over £6m to the local economy, academic meetings worth £2.5m, and corporate meetings and events, £1.6m.

NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau has reported a strong year for business tourism with conference business wins generated by the bureau totalling £11.6m in 2014-15. Business secured by the bureau includes national and international association meetings worth over £6m to the local economy, academic meetings worth £2.5m, and corporate meetings and events, £1.6m.

High-profile conferences and events secured such as National Tourism Awards, Librarians' Information Literacy Annual Conference, The 13th International Cognitive Linguistics Conference and The British Society of Gerontology Annual Conference 2015 will ensure a steady stream of delegates visiting NewcastleGateshead up to 2017.

Paul Szomoru, head of business tourism at NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, said:

“It’s a fantastic result from a great year’s work by the team at the bureau. Over the past year, we’ve taken a fresh approach to attracting events to the North East with a smarter business tourism strategy that’s intrinsically linked with the area’s inward investment strategy and focuses on three key sectors: creative and digital; marine and offshore; and science and health - all areas where we have economic strengths and academic excellence at our universities.

“We’ve also continued to work closely with the region’s universities to attract more association and meetings events through our Conference Ambassador Programme (CAP). Since it was launched back in 2002, our CAP has worked with academics, researchers, medics and business professionals to bid for and stage over 130 events in NewcastleGateshead, worth around £75m to the local economy. In 2014 we relaunched the CAP with Newcastle University to build momentum and engage with new ambassadors. Throughout 2015, we will continue to work with Newcastle University as well as Northumbria and Sunderland universities to maximise the vast opportunities in this market.

“Completely rethinking the way we work with meetings and industry professionals – from the services the bureau delivers to our approach to promoting the destination – has helped us to make a significant contribution to our local and regional economies. We’re proud that the business tourism industry in NewcastleGateshead has emerged from the recent economically challenging times to retain its position as a sector that plays a key role in the economic growth of the area, generating GVA impact of £77m (compared to £69m in 2011). We’re confident our innovative strategy and fresh thinking will build on this throughout 2015 and beyond.”

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Pick up a pocket guide!

Copies of NewcastleGateshead’s brand-new pocket guide are making their way to visitor information centres, hotels, attractions and transport gateways this week, ready to welcome visitors to the region and provide inspiration for day trips to local residents. Partners can request copies for their staff or customers by emailing Shelley Johnson or download a digital copy via

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Providing a successful Solution

It’s been a successful few months for NGI Solutions, our trading subsidiary company which delivers vital income to reinvest in core work to promote NewcastleGateshead. With our research service alone, we have secured major projects regionally with Tyne Tunnel 2 and The Alnwick Garden, and beyond - with The National newspaper in Scotland.

We were also delighted to secure a major PR contract and website development work for the forthcoming British Transplant Games (taking place in NewcastleGateshead this year). Other recent work secured includes PR and communications work to support the re-opening of Newcastle Castle and a stakeholder marketing project for Newcastle College’s Lifestyle Academy.

NGI Solutions enable us to secure and deliver exciting new work and commercial income. If your business has commissionable projects involving research and evaluation, marketing, PR, digital or event management, please don’t hesitate to contact our business development director James Ealey to find out how we might help

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