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Catherine Corrigan

Ten Years of Free Newcastle Pride

By | News

ONE of the UK’s largest free LGBT festivals will return for the tenth year this summer, thanks to festival sponsor NE1.

Newcastle Pride – which brings thousands of visitors to the region every year – has confirmed the event will be returning, with the city’s Business Improvement District back on board for the third year as the lead sponsor.

The popular festival, which attracted more than 73,000 visitors and contributed more than £10.4m to the economy in 2016, is returning with its largest ever line up in July as part of a whole programme of events which will take place in the run-up to the Pride weekend.

Mark Nichols, Chair of Northern Pride, which organises the event said: “This year marks ten years of free Newcastle Pride.

“We are currently one of only a few festivals of this scale that is still free to attend and without the support of key partners like NE1, this wouldn’t be possible.

“Newcastle Pride is organised completely by a team of volunteers so without our sponsors and their backing, it couldn’t take place.

­Sean Bullick, Chief Executive for NE1, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting one of Newcastle’s largest and most popular events once again this year.

“Not only does it bring thousands of tourists to the city and boost the local economy by millions, but Newcastle Pride helps to celebrate diversity in Newcastle.

“We’re already looking forward to what is bound to be another amazing summer in the city,” he added.

Among the many highlights in Newcastle Pride 2017 will be a weekend of live music and entertainment at Newcastle Town Moor from 21 to 23 July, with a huge musical line-up to be announced.

There will also be satellite events running at venues across the city during June and July, including a black tie ball and LGBT youth prom.


Many of the events are free to attend, though a limited number of Gold Circle and VIP tickets are available for those who want to guarantee prime viewing spots at the main stage weekend.

For information about Newcastle Pride visit or search northernprideuk on Facebook and Twitter.

Further details about NE1 and its work around the city centre can be found at

NE1 Can – New Business- Led Opportunities for Young People

By | News

Award winning Business Improvement District Company, NE1 Ltd has launched NE1 CAN, a new initiative to create employment opportunities and improve skills and education training for young people aged 16 – 19 in the Tyne and Wear region.   By using NE1’s unique contacts and relationships with the city’s business community, NE1 CAN provides direct links between 1,400 business members and young people in the North East.

NE1 CAN is ultimately about jobs and marrying the right young people with the right employment opportunities, as well as raising aspirations.

One of the key goals is to equip young people with transitional skills that will carry them from schools and college into the workplace.   These skills include a greater awareness and understanding of career choices and what businesses want and need from their workers, as well as an appreciation of their own skills, experience and abilities.

By linking young people directly with NE1’s business community NE1 CAN gives a direct insight into what skills are needed by employers and can then work with young people to deliver training and support to ensure they have the right skill set.  The initiative also benefits businesses as they gain a greater understanding of working with and employing young people.   The relationship is fast, direct and can deliver results efficiently and cost effectively.

NE1 CAN is working with a growing number of schools and colleges and has already teamed up with businesses including the NHS, Marks & Spencer, Leeds Building Society, Nigel Wright and NRG among others.  To date, a number of business-led training and skills sessions have been organised including mock interviews, CV writing, as well as quality work experience opportunities across a range of industry sectors allowing young people to visit workplaces, access work experience placements and have the chance to apply for jobs and apprenticeships.

Events are planned over the coming months with Virgin Money as well as sessions with Bond Dickinson and others.

NE1 CAN is always seeking volunteers from businesses keen to get involved and can work with employers to develop bespoke events and activities.

For further information or to find out how to get involved in the NE1 CAN programme contact Dawn Barber, NE1 Business Network Manager at


Sean Bullick, Chief Executive of NE1 said:

“The North East business community has been really keen to get involved and to throw its weight behind this unique approach to tackling the dual issues of youth unemployment and the lack of skilled employees in the region. NE1 CAN is unique because it takes services direct to young people, often within an individual business, or commercial environment.  It has allowed us to extend our reach, have a greater impact and deliver even greater results.  We have over 1,400 business members across all industry sectors and through NE1 CAN we can highlight the skills and training they need in their new recruits.

“We have already had some great successes and are working hard to raise aspirations and help more young people into quality work, education or training.”


Mike Wilson, Health Education England said:

“We are looking forward to working with the team at NE1 CAN on this and future events.  We hope to target more young people this way than we could ever hope to reach on our own and help inspire and encourage them to consider a career in the NHS.

“Through events like this we can show the diversity of roles and careers available and hopefully inspire young people who may not have considered medicine and the NHS as a personal career route.  We can also take the opportunity to help young people map out exactly what will be needed for a career in the NHS.”


Elaine Tulip-Johnson, managing consultant at Nigel Wright Group, one of the businesses involved in the new NE1 CAN initiative, said; “Nigel Wright deals with hundreds of executive and professional appointments in the UK and overseas each year. The advice we’re able to offer these young people on areas such as job interviews, CVs and employability will not only benefit them now but will stay with them throughout their working lives. We hope the knowledge and skills the students gain during our workshops will help as well as motivate them to seek out a rewarding career.
Sarah Garay at St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School assistant to the Head of Sixth Form said:

“Working with NE1 has enabled our Sixth form students to come into direct contact with local employers which helps them develop real world skills to make them more employable, be that in a part time capacity or to support further or higher education, or for when they complete their education and move into their careers. This is a fantastic opportunity that helps students put their formal education into context, become more confident and helps them when applying for and successfully gaining employment.”


NE1 CAN follows on from the high successful Space 2 programme that NE1 ran in conjunction with YMCA Newcastle.  Space 2 was extremely successful hosting in excess of 60,000 visits by more than 3,000 members.  Over 300 members found employment, apprenticeships or further education courses through the direct support of Space2.   NE1 decided to review its involvement to expand the support for young people beyond the confines of Space2 and launched NE1 CAN, which will target efforts more directly into expanding business-led opportunities for young people. YMCA Newcastle continues to provide unconditional support to young people at SPACE2 on Pilgrim Street


NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week smashes all previous records

By | News

Record figures released this week show that January’s NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week surpassed all previous events and delivered a major boost to business worth over £1/2 million.

Over 100 restaurants took part in the week, the largest number ever to register for the event, which is now a firm fixture in the Newcastle’s events calendar.

As well as the highest number of participating restaurants, other records were broken during the week, which ran from 16 – 22 January.  Nearly 45,000 people dined out over the course of the event, 10,000 more than in 2016, and restaurants also reported a huge rise in sales, with an average increase of nearly 20% year on year.

NE1’s Get into Newcastle website, which publishes details of all participating venues and their Restaurant Week offers, also reported a huge spike in activity, recording its highest ever number of unique visitors, beating all previous records, with over 1.7 million Restaurant Week page views by the time the event was over.

January was the 13th NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week held since the event was first launched in 2011.  The idea originated from New York, where twice a year diners get the chance to eat out at some of the city’s top restaurants for a fraction of the normal price.  The formula translated well to Newcastle with its vibrant restaurant scene and it has quickly grown in stature. When the event was first held, 13 restaurants took part and now six years later, over 100 celebrated in January with more expected in August this year.  Venues devise show-stopping menus to attract new diners, many of whom are keen to try out venues for the first time, encouraged by the NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week offer of dining out for only £10 or £15 per head.


Ben Whitfield NE1 Marketing and Events Manager said:

“We are absolutely delighted that this January’s NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week broke all previous records. The event continues to go from strength to strength reflecting the growth of the city’s restaurant scene. Newcastle is now the culinary capital of the North with more restaurants per square mile than any Northern city and Restaurant Week is a great way to celebrate this.

It is such a simple formula that is easy to understand and well received by diners and restaurants alike.  We’re confident that we’ll keep breaking these records and are already gearing up for August.”


Andy Hook, Managing Director of the Hooked-On Group said:

“At Blackfriars, we’ve been involved in Restaurant Week since the beginning and this January was our busiest yet.  Two to three weeks before the event even got underway, we were completely booked out for the week and that’s unprecedented.  It just shows how popular the event is and how people love the formula, it creates such a welcome opportunity for people to come out and enjoy themselves for a reasonable price during what would otherwise be a quite, miserable month after the expense of Christmas.

“For our new restaurant, Dobson & Parnell, NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week was a welcome shot in the arm.  It came at a perfect time for our fledgling business and helped fill the place. The feedback we received was fantastic.

“NE1 does a great job running and publicising the event, there’s always a lot of talk about the event in the run up and a great buzz and excitement during the week itself.  It is good to see so many restaurants involved from both the independent and branded sectors and it gives the public real choice and the restaurants are full on the back of it, a win- win situation all round.”