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RGF bid success set to benefit NewcastleGateshead

31st October 2011

Categories: Latest News

NewcastleGateshead has been named as one of the key tourism destinations set to benefit significantly from VisitEngland’s successful bid for additional funding from the Regional Growth Fund (RGF). 

The announcement, made today by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, will see destination management and marketing agency, NewcastleGateshead Initiative, allocated extra funds to deliver domestic marketing campaigns to attract more visitors over the next three years.

Identified as a result of its proven ability to grow tourism in the region and strong private sector support, NewcastleGateshead Initiative will work closely with VisitEngland to design and implement domestic campaign activity aimed at inspiring Britons to take more short breaks and holidays at home and in doing so grow jobs in the tourism sector.

Sarah Stewart, chief executive at destination management and marketing agency NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said:  “This is fantastic news and a major boost for tourism at a national and a regional level. Working with colleagues at VisitEngland, this money will allow us to implement really impactful campaigns to help stimulate domestic tourism at a time of serious economic challenges.

“Ultimately we hope that these additional funds will make a direct impact on the visitor economy here, helping to grow visitor numbers, visitor spend and tourism employment in the long term.”

James Berresford, VisitEngland’s chief executive, commented: “Our strategy is to work with tourism partners and the private sector at a national and local level. Our partners will manage elements of the campaign pertaining directly to their local destination, whilst VisitEngland will manage the national strategy which will support this local activity. We will work closely with Government on the next stage of the process which determines the terms and conditions of the funding.”

The national marketing campaign, spearheaded by VisitEngland, will capitalise on next year’s once-in-a-generation events like London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, The Diamond Jubilee, the Cultural Olympiad, and the Torch Relay.

The funding applied for will be allocated to a number of destination partners in England; others confirmed include Marketing Manchester, Marketing Birmingham, Bath Tourism Plus, Visit Peak District and Derbyshire, Cumbria Tourism and Visit York.  In addition to targeted activity in these areas there will be a series of thematic campaigns focusing on countryside, heritage, coastal and business tourism.


For media enquiries contact:

Kathie Wilcox

Senior Marketing and Communications Manager

T. +44 (0)191 440 5742

M. +44 (0)7766 993925


For more information on VisitEngland’s bid contact:

Sarah Long

Head of Corporate Communications

T. 020 7578 1452,

M. 07500 555651


Notes to editors:

About VisitEngland

·  VisitEngland is the national tourist board representing the public and private sector stakeholders of English Tourism.  It works in partnership creating national tourism strategy, optimising marketing investment, and developing the visitor experience across England 

·  VisitEngland continues to use its Enjoy England consumer brand in the domestic market and markets England under the VisitEngland brand in international markets 

·  More information can be found on and


About NewcastleGateshead Initiative

·  NewcastleGateshead Initiative is a destination management and marketing agency; a public-private partnership supported by Gateshead and Newcastle City Councils, working with around 165 private sector member organisations across NewcastleGateshead and the wider region.

·  All of our activity aims to promote and position NewcastleGateshead as a world-class vibrant tourism destination, through targeted marketing and PR campaigns nationally and internationally and through the work of our cultural programming team and convention bureau.

·  NewcastleGateshead Initiative is supported by a board offering expertise from a range of sectors and professions. We also work with a wide range of partners, stakeholders and businesses, who share our ambition to promote NewcastleGateshead as a world-class place in which to live, learn, work, and visit.

·  United by seven bridges across a spectacular riverscape, Newcastle (a city on the north bank of the River Tyne) and Gateshead (a town on the south bank) form a single, diverse and extremely vibrant visitor destination. World-class culture, vibrant nightlife, award-winning dining, inspiring heritage, fantastic shopping and acclaimed architecture are combined here like nowhere else, by the famous Geordie spirit which is symbolised by Antony Gormley’s iconic Angel of the North as it welcomes travellers to the area.

· - NewcastleGateshead’s Initiative’s extensive royalty free image library

Useful links:

· - NewcastleGateshead Initiative’s media website

· - destination website for NewcastleGateshead

· - NewcastleGateshead’s visitor pass website


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