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Europe’s largest conference on infant feeding heads to NewcastleGateshead

23rd May 2014

Categories: Convention Bureau News

NewcastleGateshead will host the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative in November. As Europe’s largest conference on infant feeding it welcomes 900 delegates and is worth an estimated £830k to the local economy.

The event will be the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative's 17th annual conference for health professionals and others involved in the care of mothers and babies. Over the last 18-months the organising committee have visited the destination several times and on one occasion were even greeted by a flash mob of breastfeeding mums at the Metro Radio Arena, where the event will take place, 26-27 November 2014.

Elizabeth Freeman, Events and Services Manager, at UNICEF UK, commented: “NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau has offered such valuable support in helping us choose the right venue for our event, and it was brilliant to see so many mothers take to the stage at the Metro Radio Arena to welcome our delegation. As well as offering the right combination of facilities we need to hold our event, this extra touch really demonstrated a local commitment to the issues that are so important to the Baby Friendly Initiative.”

Paul Szomoru, head of business tourism at NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, said: “If there’s one thing the North East does well, it’s welcoming people, and the flash mob that greeted the organising committee was both warm and original, demonstrating that issues facing modern mothers are important to our communities.”

The UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative offers a mixture of innovative, entertaining and challenging presentations on a wide range of issues associated with supporting successful breastfeeding. NewcastleGateshead is home to the Great North Children’s Hospital and has experts on child development and health based within Newcastle University’s Institute of Health & Society, making it the ideal location for experts to come together to discuss such issues.

The Metro Radio Arena, where the event will be held, is more commonly known as a music and entertainment venue hosting a range of music and comedy acts on a regular basis. It is officially ranked 7th as one of the world’s busiest venues by Pollstar magazine and is the biggest exhibition venue in North East England with the largest flat-floor area of any venue 40,000 square feet, and an expansive uninterrupted roof span.

Conference organisers looking to bring an event to NewcastleGateshead in future can meet the Convention Bureau at industry trade exhibition, Meetings Show UK (08-10 July, London Olympia – stand D12) or visit  


For media enquiries contact:
Shelley Armstrong
Media & PR Manager
T. +44 (0)191 440 5739
M. +44 (0)7717 631 109

Notes to editors:
• NewcastleGateshead Initiative is a destination management and marketing agency; a public-private partnership supported by Gateshead and Newcastle City Councils, working with around 170 private sector partner organisations across NewcastleGateshead and the wider region
• 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 inspire people to visit and to live, learn, work and invest in NewcastleGateshead.
o Our marketing & communications team works to promote and position NewcastleGateshead as a vibrant tourism destination, through targeted campaigns nationally and internationally. Our visitor information team helps ensure visitors have the best possible experience when they’re here, providing information and support.
o Our cultural programming team work with partners across the destination to bring together NewcastleGateshead’s cultural offer and deliver some of our most popular festival & events, including EAT! NewcastleGateshead, Juice Festival and the NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival.
o Our 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, venue sourcing and accommodation booking, to arranging transport and entertainment for delegates
o Our inward investment team helps businesses locate, expand and flourish in NewcastleGateshead, providing a range of services to make it easy to realise their ambitions for growth
• 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.
• The Supporting Business Growth and Attracting Investment to NewcastleGateshead and the North East project is part financed by the North East England Competitiveness European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit

Imagery / Photography opportunities:
• - NewcastleGateshead’s Initiative’s extensive royalty free image library

Useful links:
• - NewcastleGateshead Initiative’s media website
•  - conference and events website for NewcastleGateshead

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