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TASTECLUB joins forces with NewcastleGateshead Initiative

5th March 2014

Categories: Convention Bureau News

From 1 April 2014, TASTECLUB, the organisation which promotes and sells the food and drink talent and products of North East England will become part of NewcastleGateshead Initiative, the public private partnership marketing NewcastleGateshead on a national and international stage to attract visitors, conferences and events, and new investment to the area.

Over the past three years, TASTECLUB has built up its membership levels, secured income streams and developed a positive profile for the TASTECLUB brand. Having successfully developed the business, the board and management team agreed that further growth could best be secured by joining forces with a larger organisation and identified NewcastleGateshead Initiative as a natural fit.

Established in 2000, NewcastleGateshead Initiative is supported by Gateshead Council, Newcastle City Council, and over 170 private sector partner organisations across North East England. Over the past 13 years, the organisation has established a strong track record of successful delivery and as a result has grown both its partnership base and portfolio of work – all with the aim of delivering economic growth for the region.

The two organisations have been in discussions over the last three months and the acquisition of TASTECLUB by NewcastleGateshead Initiative was formally announced at TASTECLUB’s AGM yesterday (Tuesday 4 March).

NewcastleGateshead Initiative Chief Executive Sarah Stewart said: “We are delighted that TASTECLUB will soon come on board. There is a natural synergy between the two organisations and our core areas of activity. This is a great opportunity to further develop TASTECLUB as well as strengthening many aspects of our existing business, from the development and promotion of EAT! NewcastleGateshead – the food and drink festival - through to our work with regional, national and international media to profile the area’s many assets.”

Jane Hogan, Chief Executive at TASTECLUB, said: “TASTECLUB is a not-for-profit company, with all income reinvested in promoting independently produced food and drink. We quickly identified NewcastleGateshead Initiative as a business that shared our ethos and approach to championing the region and supporting the growth of the local economy – albeit on a much larger scale.

“And it is this scale, profile and marketing clout that we believe offers such a great opportunity for the TASTECLUB business to continue to grow and realise its full potential in the years ahead.”

Sarah Stewart added: “The two members of TASTECLUB staff will join our team next month and for TASTECLUB members and customers it should be a smooth transition and business as usual. After much discussion, Jane has decided to take this opportunity to pursue a new start-up opportunity and we wish her every success; I have no doubt we will keep in touch with news of TASTECLUB’s future development and success stories.”

NewcastleGateshead Initiative is currently in the process of setting up a wholly owned trading company for emerging business development opportunities, including TASTECLUB. The trading company, to be called NGI Solutions Limited, will provide a separate legal entity for projects distinct from NewcastleGateshead Initiative core activity, which is part-funded by Gateshead Council and Newcastle City Council. As public sector funding continues to decline, NGI Solutions will enable NewcastleGateshead Initiative to secure new projects and commercial income which can be reinvested in its primary aim: to inspire people to visit, and to live, learn work and invest in NewcastleGateshead.


For media enquiries contact:
Kathie Wilcox
Head of Communications and Corporate Affairs
NewcastleGateshead Initiative
0191 440 5742

Notes to editors

TASTECLUB sources, promotes and sells products, gifts and experiences on behalf of the North’s leading food and drink talents.  It was created in 2012 as a way to make the connection between product, people and landscape in the Great North, giving consumers access to the stories which lie behind some of Britain’s greatest food and drink.

In 2013 TASTECLUB launched an online gift store, – the go-to
place for lovers of Great North food and drink. The store sells curated collections of artisan food and drink products and experiences made and finished in the region. The site also keeps food lovers in the know about food and drink events taking place in the North East and Cumbria.

Members of TASTECLUB are people who make, serve, sell and love Great North food and drink. Membership is free for consumers, who get the inside track on what’s on, exclusive food and drink collections, special offers, prize draws, reviews and events.

TASTECLUB Traders are the people who make serve and sell food and drink in the region. They are based in the North East and Cumbria, independently owned, and where possible they use ingredients and products which are made or finished there. TASTECLUB promotes Trader members' food and drink products and services to Consumers, the media and to other businesses.  TASTECLUB also has Partner members – organisations that are committed to supporting the Great North food and drink sector.

NewcastleGateshead Initiative
NewcastleGateshead Initiative markets NewcastleGateshead on a national and international stage; its mission is to inspire people to visit, and to live, learn, work and invest here.

The focus of all activity is economic growth; the organisation works to change perceptions and create positive profile in order to attract visitors, major conferences and events, students, new investment and jobs. 

NewcastleGateshead Initiative is a public-private partnership supported by Gateshead Council, Newcastle City Council, and over 170 private sector partner organisations across North East England.

Key areas of activity include:

• Our marketing and communications team promotes and positions NewcastleGateshead as a vibrant destination, through targeted campaigns nationally and internationally which help to attract leisure and business visitors and new investment to the area.

• Our inward investment team helps businesses locate, expand and flourish in NewcastleGateshead, providing a range of services to make it easy to realise ambitions for growth.

• Our convention bureau provides a ‘one stop shop’ offering free, impartial advice and unrivalled local knowledge; it’s the ‘official’ point of contact for all conference organisers.

• Our culture team works with partners across the destination to bring together NewcastleGateshead’s cultural offer and deliver some of our most popular festivals and events, including EAT! NewcastleGateshead and Juice Festival.

• Our visitor information service provides information where and when it is most needed; well informed visitors spend more, stay longer and are more likely to return.

NGI Solutions Limited
NGI Solutions Ltd is a new trading arm of NewcastleGateshead Initiative, established in March 2014 to enable the organisation to secure new business development opportunities. Profits from NGI Solutions Ltd will be reinvested in NewcastleGateshead Initiative’s core activity.

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