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Catherine Corrigan

Sean Bullick CEO Newcastle NE1

New Legislation Could Open Up Northern Cities For Investment

By | News

The Northern BIDs Group, the industry body for Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in the North of England has welcomed the inclusion of Property Owner BIDs in the Government’s legislative agenda for 2017.

The new legislation, which forms part of the Local Government Finance Bill (2017) enables the creation of Property Owner BIDs, which can currently only be created in London.  When enacted, this will provide the right for property owners to collectively invest in the improvement of their cities, in much the same way companies in existing BIDs have been.

Property Owner BIDs were first introduced in the UK in 2009 as part of the Business Rate Supplement Bill. Due to the way this bill was drafted, and because London is the only part of the UK to currently have a business rate supplement, levied to help meet the cost of Cross Rail 2, their use has subsequently been limited to the capital.

When finalised, this legislation will provide the legal framework for BIDs and property owners to collectively invest in projects focussed on economic growth. Northern BIDs Group and its members have worked closely with Government to permit Property Owner BIDs beyond London.

Property Owner BIDs have been successfully implemented in London, the United States, including major cities like New York, and in European cities including Hamburg. By including property owners the Heart of London BID, the New West End Company BID, and BID Neuer Wall in Hamburg have created distinct characters and robust rationales for investment in the areas they represent.

Bill Addy, Co-chair of the Northern BIDs Group, which represents seven of the largest city BIDs in the North of England, said:  “The expansion of Property Owner BIDs is welcome in the North, it will allow our Business Improvement Districts to add additional impetus to the investment they are driving. This has long been campaigned for, so it is to see good that the Government is listening and more importantly acting.

“The inclusion of Property Owner BIDs in the Local Government Finance Bill will enable areas to drive investment, economic growth and jobs, and will help balance the playing field between London and the rest of the country. We are confident that when enacted, BIDs, working closely with property owners, will provide a compelling case for investment that creates the best possible return for business and their cities.

“We look forward to continuing our work with Government as the bill makes its way through Parliament.”

Sean Bullick, Co-chair of the Northern BIDs Group, said: “It is now up to the BIDs in the North to make compelling cases to property owners and investors on behalf of our cities. This is a potentially revolutionary opportunity for the UK’s cities to put themselves on a par with London and the great metropolises of the world.

“By empowering businesses to invest in the long-term future of their areas, the addition of property owners to BIDs can make a huge difference.”

Ian Fletcher, Director of Policy at the British Property Federation, said: We are pleased to see Government extending the possibility of property owner BIDs outside London. This will allow local landlords to coalesce around a number of shared objectives that they will vote on, and give a boost in funding to our city centres. There are already some property owner BIDs in London, and they are big in the USA. BIDs take time to put in place and regional cities should be contemplating whether they want to make use of these new structures now, so they can make the most of the opportunity when the legislation is passed.”

Remploy helps Stephen make a Mitie change to his life

By | News

A Washington man, who lost a close friend several years ago, credits having a job once again as helping him turn his life around.

Stephen James, 56, experienced a breakdown following the tragedy, which left him unable to work and with little means to support himself and his family. He was completely taken aback at the way his health spiralled and soon realised he could no longer hold down his job working in retail security.

“I hit an all-time low and had no idea how to get myself out of it,” said Stephen. “The only thing that was clear was that I couldn’t continue with my job. However, that meant I lost touch with those around me, which left me feeling even more isolated.”

Although Stephen’s health gradually improved, his chances of finding work remained low. “I was truthful with employers about my health condition, but that just seemed to count against me and nobody would give me a chance. I didn’t know how to break this cycle, and so once again depression set in.”

Stephen was referred to disability employment specialists Remploy, which partners with businesses and organisations throughout the North East to give equal opportunities to people who face complex barriers to employment. Through a series of placements, working for a retailer and a hotel, Stephen slowly began to regain some confidence himself – enough to impress when he was interviewed for his new job as a Newcastle city centre Street Ranger. The service, which helps keep the city centre street clean, helps visitors and improves the look and feel of Newcastle Upon Tyne. It is managed by NE1, a business improvement district company, and delivered by facilities management company Mitie, and their willingness to give Stephen a chance is now paying dividends.

“Already I am content with my job, and would happily sleep at the office if it meant helping more people who live, work or visit the city,” he said. “My advisors at Remploy were really excellent and became my friends as well. Just having somebody believe in me meant I could start to believe in myself, and it made all the difference.”

Tariq Albassam, who is NE1’s operations manager said, “Stephen represents our city with great pride and it is a pleasure to work with him. Remploy played a huge part in helping him rebuild his life, and he’s now supporting others. He is a very capable man and we are proud to have him as part of our team.

Remploy advisor Ingrid Rayner added, “We’re all thrilled to see Stephen get back on his feet. The transformation since he first walked through our doors is remarkable, but that’s equally down to his determination to rethink everything he had experienced. We helped him understand that he was, and is, fully capable of working once again – he just needed practical and emotional support after an extended period of unemployment. The rest was down to him.”

As well as working alongside employers to understand their recruitment needs and opportunities, Remploy provides a range of focused employment services to people with disabilities and long term health conditions. For more information about Remploy’s mental health services, please visit:

100 Milestone Mark Reached by NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week

By | News

The date has been set for January’s NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week, a hugely popular event in Newcastle’s event calendar and a hotly anticipated date for all Northern foodies.  From 16th– 22nd January, NE1 will be hosting the 13th NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week and will celebrate a major milestone in the event’s six-year history as it welcomes over 100 restaurants to take part.


The rising number of participants mirrors the growth of the city’s restaurant scene, 24 new restaurants are to open in the new intu Eldon Square Grey’s Quarter alone and Newcastle currently offers more restaurants per square foot than any other Northern city.


Among these new sign ups are brands new to the city that were quick to register to take part in what will be their first NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week, including Chaophraya and the newly launched Dobson and Parnell: the latest venture from award winning restaurateur, Andy Hook. Newcastle diners and food lovers will be given the opportunity to try out these new venues for only £10 or £15 per head.


Stephen Patterson, Director of Communications at NE1 said:

“NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week is always an exciting time for Newcastle, but this January promises to beat all previous records with over 100 venues already signed up to take part.  We’re delighted that so many of the venues at the new Grey’s Quarter in intu Eldon Square were primed and ready to get on board – many of them expressed an interest and signed up even before they’d opened their doors.  It is great that they all knew about NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week and didn’t need persuading to join the event.  It’s also reaffirming to have Andy Hook, one of the founding restaurateurs of NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week sign up with his new restaurant, Dobson and Parnell just weeks after the doors opened. ”


The event continues to grow in popularity and status year on year.  At the last count, over 350,000 diners had taken part in NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week since its launch in January 2011 with over 40,000 dining during last August’s Restaurant Week alone.


The idea for NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week came 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 translates well to Newcastle, a city with a vibrant restaurant scene whose vibrancy only increases each January and August, when NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week is held.   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.


Newcastle is also home to a truly cosmopolitan mix of restaurants and menus ensuring all tastes are catered for.  Diners can eat out ‘around the world’ in Newcastle from Italian, Spanish Tapas to Chinese, Brazilian, German and Indian.


Andy Hook, owner of Blackfriars Restaurant in Newcastle and of the newly opened Dobson and Parnell at 21 Queen Street, on Newcastle’s Quayside said:


“Blackfriars have been involved in NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week since the beginning.  We were one of the 13 restaurants who made up the very first NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week six years ago and we’ve taken part ever since.   We love the added excitement the event brings to the city’s dining scene.  Although we have only been open a couple of weeks, we have been quick to sign up our new restaurant, Dobson and Parnell for January’s event. We know how good it is to be able to welcome new diners into the restaurant so they can sample what’s on offer, knowing that they will enjoy a quality, premium dining experience at a fixed price.  Many of our regular diners came to us first through NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week.”
Cabana Brasilian Barbecue celebrated their launch in the summer of 2016, and signed up for their first NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week in August. Already excited for January’s event after enjoying fantastic results in August, Manager, Ashley Archer said:

“As a Newcastle local myself, I’ve known all about NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week and am delighted that Cabana is involved. NE1 Restaurant Week echoes what we’re all about: bringing friends and family together over delicious food. We’re excited to be showcasing the best of our Rio street food, skewers and fantastic cocktails to the people of Newcastle, and NE1 Restaurant Week is the perfect opportunity for them to enjoy a taste of Rio here in Newcastle – with food at the heart of the celebration.”


Simon Wright, Business Manager at Chaophraya Newcastle commented “NE1 Restaurant Week is one of the North East’s most popular food events and celebrates some of the very best restaurants in Newcastle, so naturally we couldn’t wait to get involved.


“Diners visiting our restaurant throughout the week can expect panoramic views of the city, exceptional service, as well as two or three courses specially selected from our contemporary menu for either £10 or £15. With the event only weeks away, the team are incredibly excited to be taking part in what has become such a highly anticipated week in the city’s event calendar.”



Due to the success of NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week it is essential to reserve your tables as many restaurants will be fully booked across the week.

For details of offers and participating restaurants visit