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NewcastleGateshead Gets Thumbs-up from National Meetings Planners

23rd December 2010

Categories: Convention Bureau News

After the success of Discover NewcastleGateshead in November, the event has seen a flurry of positive feedback from industry leaders, exhibitors and meetings planners.

Initial leads for some exhibitors has reach £45,000, and with more than 150 meeting and events organisers from across the UK in attendance, it’s expected that Discover NewcastleGateshead will greatly impact on the value of business tourism to North East England which already stands at an estimated £378m, £240m being generated in NewcastleGateshead alone.

Ken Millar, General Manager, Newcastle Marriott Gosforth Park Hotel said; “We found the event to be extremely useful and the organisation, venue and clients of great quality. The day clearly demonstrated to me how important and powerful the message can be when a region works together by having all its key partners and suppliers available under the one roof.

“In the current economic climate to have received thirty-five leads clearly demonstrates how successful the event was.”

Organised by NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, Discover NewcastleGateshead showcased over 25 of the destination’s best conference and events industry venues and services, at London’s Royal Horticultural Halls.

Michael Bell, Resort Director of Sales at DeVere Slaley Hall Hotel said; “This is the second year Slaley Hall has participated in the NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau London Showcase, it was great to see so many businesses from across North East England supporting the London event and recognising the level of business which can be developed by working in partnership, we came away with over £45,000 worth of enquiries on the night and would be happy to support any future London event.”

Jessica Roberts, head of business tourism at NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau said: “We were really pleased to see so many London based meetings organisers at Discover NewcastleGateshead. We had such a tremendous amount of support from our members and it’s really gratifying to see so many leads coming out of the event.”

In addition, those in attendance were amongst the first to view the proposals for the creation of a landmark International Conference and Exhibition Centre (ICEC) in NewcastleGateshead, featuring over 4000sqm of flat floor exhibition space.

Jessica added; “NewcastleGateshead already proves highly effective at attracting major international association-based conventions, but we know that there is more demand, and an ICEC with significant flat-floored exhibition space will mean the destination can welcome a range of much larger conferences.”

Plans for the ICEC are being developed by City Development Company 1NG with support from NewcastleGateshead Initiative. Feedback from the event was highly positive with delegates hailing NewcastleGateshead as an established but growing destination for meetings and events.

The proposed facility would include a 4,000sqm multi-purpose hall and would host major conferences, exhibitions and events. NewcastleGateshead would be able to capture business for large-scale exhibitions and conferences it had previously not had the capacity to host. The economic benefits of such a project could be profound. Around 215,000 additional delegates per annum are anticipated, driving at least £19m per annum into the economy and sustaining 3,000 private-sector jobs if the ICEC goes ahead.

In response to the plans Nathan Alemany, Head of Events at Visit Britain said; “This will drive new large international conferences to Britain and will put NewcastleGateshead on an international stage”
James Glavin, Head of Education, Events, & Journal, The British Society of Rheumatology, said: “We’d welcome this development – we’re keen to bring a conference of over 2000 delegates to the North East but can’t with the current facilities. Like many associations we need at least 4000sqm exhibition and conference space.”

NewcastleGateshead has seen a tremendous cultural and economic growth over the past ten years with the success of the Gateshead Quays’ development. Projects included The Sage Gateshead, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and Gateshead Millennium Bridge, and with the development of a new business project such as the ICEC, NewcastleGateshead has potential to expand further as both a tourist and business destination.

Mark Robinson, 1NG project director for NewcastleGateshead’s proposed ICEC, said: “The benefits this project would bring locally are significant, but the economic benefit for Britain cannot be underestimated with the potential to generate more than 215,000 additional visitor days per annum.”
Significant sums have been secured from partners to realise the future ambition of NewcastleGateshead, but going forward, it is critical that 1NG and its partners secure private sector and Government support, essential to the delivery of this ambitious portfolio. It is critical that 1NG and their partners secure private sector and Government support. To achieve this, 1NG intends to submit two bids to the Governments Regional Growth Fund to secure funding for Science Central and Gateshead Quays. 1NG is also working with the private sector to ensure future development funding is secured for these projects critical to NewcastleGateshead’s future economic prosperity.


Media Enquiries

Shelley Staines, Media and PR Manager – Destination & Business, NewcastleGateshead Initiative
t. 0191 440 5739 m. 07717 631 109 e.

Notes to Editors
• NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI) is the destination marketing agency for NewcastleGateshead. Its mission is to position and promote NewcastleGateshead as a leading European destination for leisure and business visitors through cultural programming, event bidding and high-profile, targeted destination marketing and PR activity.  Created in 2000 by Newcastle City Council and Gateshead Council as a publicly and privately funded business, NGI has developed a strong brand for the area - promoting it nationally and internationally as a place at the forefront of innovative culture-led regeneration and a world-class place to live, learn, work and visit.
• NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau uses local knowledge and expertise to help organise conferences, meetings or events in NewcastleGateshead and the surrounding area. It provides a free service including arranging everything from venue sourcing and booking, to accommodation, transport and entertainment for delegates. With a huge choice of state-of-the-art venues NewcastleGateshead is fast becoming one of the UK’s most popular destinations whether it’s for a meeting of 10 people or a conference for thousands.
• It is estimated that visitors to NewcastleGateshead from around the UK and overseas contribute £1.23bn to the local economy.
• Press releases and copyright-free hi-res images on NewcastleGateshead are available from our website
• 1NG, NewcastleGateshead's city development company, is an independent private-sector led company leading on the delivery of regeneration, development and investment projects in NewcastleGateshead. For further information, visit:
• For further information on 1NG contact David Bootle, 1NG Communications Manager on: 0191 441 4583, 0793 264 2714, or email:

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