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Public’s Local Heroes announced for Quayside walk

13th December 2013

Categories: Convention Bureau News

Twenty of Newcastle and Gateshead’s most notable and inspiring people have been chosen by the public to have their names cast in bronze for a Hollywood-style ‘walk of fame’.

Sir Bobby Robson, Sting, Ant and Dec, Kathryn Tickell, Brendan Foster, Stephen Miller, Alan Shearer, Dame Margaret Barbour, Professor John Burn and Professor Peter Higgs, to name a few, will have their names immortalised at the heart of one of NewcastleGateshead’s most popular visitor attractions, the Quayside.

NewcastleGateshead Local Heroes will take the form of a series of bronze plaques placed around the Newcastle and Gateshead Quaysides. It will honour current and past individuals, either from or with strong links to the area, who have made a significant contribution to NewcastleGateshead or the wider world over the last 60 years.

Plaques will be laid in the New Year along the stretch of pavement from the Newcastle end of the Millennium Bridge to the Swing Bridge. Across the river, they will continue along the Quayside to the Gateshead Millennium Bridge.

Cllr Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council, said: “I’m delighted with the names put forward by the public. Newcastle and Gateshead have nurtured many hundreds of talented, inspiring and notable individuals over the years, from scientists to sports personalities. This is a wonderful way to permanently celebrate their achievements and I’d like to thank the people who took part in the nominations to make sure their hero has a place on one of our most popular visitor locations.”

Gateshead Council Cabinet Member for Culture, Cllr Linda Green, said: “I am thrilled by the range and calibre of the people who have been nominated to be honoured on our first 20 plaques. Local Heroes focuses on these brilliant people who have made a difference to the life and reputation of our region. Having the names of these inspiring people cast into the landscape of our Quayside will show our visitors and local people that we do have a lot to be proud of – I can’t wait to see them in place.”

NewcastleGateshead Local Heroes is delivered and managed jointly by Gateshead and Newcastle City Councils in partnership with destination marketing organisation, NewcastleGateshead Initiative.

The project forms part of the already vibrant offer for leisure and business tourists to the destination. The public were encouraged to nominate individuals that made them feel genuinely inspired and proud to call the place home.

Sarah Stewart, chief executive of destination management and marketing organisation, NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “I’ve been really impressed by the public’s enthusiasm for this scheme. With more than 300 nominations the people of Gateshead and Newcastle have suggested some truly inspirational individuals, from entertainers to artists and world-leading scientists. 

“NewcastleGateshead attracts more than 17 million people from all over the world every year thanks to a dynamic cultural offer, including our year-long programme of major festivals and events and a reputation for great shopping, nightlife and entertainment. Our famously friendly and welcoming people are as important, and honouring some of our most notable Local Heroes in this way will help us tell the story of NewcastleGateshead.”

2013 is the first year for Local Heroes. Nominations were sought from August to October and there will be an annual call for further suggestions, when more Local Heroes’ plaques will be added.

Full list of Local Heroes

Sir Bobby Robson, Sting, Ant and Dec, Kathryn Tickell, Brendan Foster , Stephen Miller , Alan Shearer, Dame Margaret Barbour, Professor John Burn, Professor Peter Higgs, David Almond, Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, Sirkka-Lisa Kontinnen, Lindisfarne, Robson Green, Julia Darling, Sister Winifred Laver, Cardinal Basil Hume, Alderman Edward Cowen JP (Ned) and Doreen Jarding.

Further information about the nominated Local Heroes, including the contribution they have made to the place, visit


Notes to Editors:

Nominees needed to meet the following criteria:

  • Been born in or have a strong association with Newcastle or Gateshead.
  • Have made a significant contribution to Newcastle or Gateshead at some point over the last 60 years, and achieved national or international recognition.
  • When judging the nominations, consideration was given to the significance and reach of the contribution that the nominee has made.
  • Fresh nominations will be sought annually, adding to the Local Heroes trail on an on-going basis. 

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