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Catherine Corrigan

Newcastle businesses welcome US Ambassador to the city

By | News

Newcastle NE1, the city’s Business Improvement District, is continuing its work to strengthen the relationship between Newcastle and the United States by hosting the American Ambassador to the UK on what is his first official visit to an English city outside London since taking office.

Ambassador Robert Wood Johnson, a member of the Johnson & Johnson dynasty and owner of the New York Jets, met with key business leaders in the city.

Mr Johnson visited The Reece Group, which manufactures for the defence, oil and gas, power generation, construction and subsea sectors, at its Armstrong Works in Newcastle. The group includes Pearson Engineering, which develops and supplies defence equipment to armed forces in the United States.

With his particular interest in medical research, the Ambassador also toured Newcastle University’s Institute of Genetic Medicine based at the Life Science Centre. Here he met researchers who work alongside NHS staff, with the latest genetic and developmental techniques to understand and treat human diseases such as Muscular Dystrophy, mitochondrial diseases and cancer by developing and implementing new therapies.

Prominent local businesses with trade links with the United States, including Sage, Womble Bond Dickinson and Venator, had the opportunity to meet with Mr Johnson at a networking lunch hosted by NE1 and the North East England Chamber of Commerce at Blackfriars. The Vice Chancellor of Northumbria University, Andrew Wathey CBE, Bruce Shepherd OBE, and Louise Robson the Business and Development Director at NHS Newcastle, were also among the attendees.

At the lunch, a range of opportunities intended to strengthen links between the US and Newcastle were discussed, including ways to help create opportunities for business, investment and trade, knowledge transfer and learning.


Newcastle NE1 Chief Executive, Sean Bullick, said: “In this post-Brexit world, a time when the UK is looking to build relationships with countries outside the EU, we are trying to get ahead of the curve by further developing trade and investment links with countries including the United States.”


The trip, arranged to coincide with Martin Luther King Day in the US, involved Mr Johnson visiting Newcastle University earlier in the day to see a statue of the American civil rights leader. The statue was unveiled in November 2017 to mark the 50th anniversary of Dr King’s visit to the University to accept an honorary degree.

While at the University, the Ambassador also met Vice-Chancellor Professor Chris Day and a number of senior academics to hear about how the University is forging strong links with business, as well as universities in the United States.


Professor Day said: “It is fitting that Ambassador Johnson has chosen to visit the statue of Dr King on the day that the US remembers him and the values he stood for. The statue is a lasting tribute to him and a unique record of one of the most significant moments in the University’s history.

“One of our key priorities is to deliver teaching and research projects that address the needs and challenges of a global society, and our collaborations with partners in the US and elsewhere around the world are a huge part of that.”


This is the second high-profile US dignitary visit to Newcastle in the space of a year, as Acting Ambassador Lewis Lukens, visited in summer 2017.

Geordie Jackpot Ticket To Dubai

By | News

There’s never been a better time to buy a Geordie Jackpot ticket than this week. Get your ticket before midnight on Friday 12 January and not only could you be in with a chance of winning the guaranteed £1K weekly prize, not to mention the £25K jackpot – but for one week and one week only your ticket could take you to Dubai!  One lucky lottery winner in this Saturday’s draw will win two return tickets to Dubai courtesy of Emirates airlines.

To beat the January Blues – NE1 has teamed up with the luxury airline, Emirates to offer a lucky lottery winner two return tickets to Dubai travelling from Newcastle airport.

With temperatures expected to plummet in Newcastle this month, and ice and frost almost guaranteed, who wouldn’t want to jet away to Dubai, the millionaire’s playground, where the average temperature for January is a balmy 24 °C (75 °F).

The winner will be drawn at random and will be contacted by NE1 on Saturday 13 January.  To claim their prize all they need do is book direct with Emirates knowing that they are the exclusive Geordie Jackpot winners.

Getting behind the Geordie Jackpot this January will also help nudge NE1 over the line for the first lottery project to transform the city.  NE1 hopes to unveil its plans for the first city centre project at the start of next month.

Sean Bullick, Chief Executive of NE1 said:

“It’s a win/win this January.  What better way of supporting Newcastle and playing your part in transforming the city by buying a Geordie Jackpot lottery ticket.  Not only will you be in with the chance of winning the lottery, a trip to Dubai could also be yours.  All this and you will have contributed to improving the city’s future!”

The return tickets to Dubai are the latest in a series of special prizes that have been available alongside the Geordie Jackpot weekly payout since the Geordie Jackpot launched in September 2017.  Many of the prizes have been money can’t buy opportunities offering Geordie Jackpot players additional incentives to play the local lottery which raises funds for both city centre projects and for the local children’s charity Cash For Kids.

Before Christmas, the Geordie Jackpot made its first donation to chosen charity, Cash for Kids with a cheque handover, more of which are planned for the upcoming months.

All the details of what’s planned for 2018 and the special prize give-aways  will be announced via the Geordie Jackpot website at

The Geordie Jackpot has received tremendous support from across Newcastle and many famous North East celebrities including NUFC and football legend Alan Shearer, who gave his backing to the Geordie Jackpot:

“All Newcastle fans have the chance to make the city even greater by buying Geordie Jackpot lottery tickets.  I’m delighted to be backing NE1’s Geordie Jackpot and it is fantastic to see that the money raised goes directly into new and exciting projects in the Toon and to the local charity, Cash for Kids.’

Dine Around The World During NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week

By | News

NE1’s Newcastle Restaurant Week returns on 15th– 21st January and NE1, organisers of the popular event, are challenging people to enjoy cuisine from around the world without leaving the city centre.

With over 100 restaurants taking part in the upcoming event, NE1 believes that diners can experience flavours from each of the four corners of the globe all within the heart of Newcastle.

When it first launched in 2011, only 13 of the city’s top restaurants took part in Newcastle Restaurant Week. Now as it celebrates its 15th event, the city boasts more restaurants per square mile than any other Northern city – a true testament to how the event has shaped the city’s restaurant scene.

From Chinese cuisine to Spanish Tapas, Brazilian to Korean and flavours from a whole host of countries and continents in between, this January’s Restaurant Week promises to be one of the best yet.

The event allows people to dine in the city’s finest restaurants for only £10 or £15 per person.  Inspired by New York, which holds its own Restaurant Week twice a year, the event is designed to boost trade at two traditionally quiet times of the year.  NE1 was quick to adopt the idea and since the first Restaurant Week was held in 2011, the event has gone from strength to strength and is now an eagerly anticipated date in the calendar.

Visit for details of participating restaurants, information on individual menus and offers, and to download your vouchers.

Stephen Patterson, Director of Communications at NE1 Ltd said:

“Newcastle was the first city in the UK to launch a Restaurant Week.  We are really proud of our restaurant scene here in Newcastle which has grown in tandem with the Restaurant Week event.  There are not many cities in the UK where you can enjoy food from around the globe.  With over 100 restaurants taking part this January diners will be able to choose the continent they would like to dine in while remaining within Newcastle city centre.”

Nicole Hope, South Shields who claims to be Restaurant Week’s biggest fan said:

“I love Newcastle Restaurant Week and try to dine out at least three times during the week because it allows me to try new restaurants without the pressure of a huge bill at the end of the meal.  Participating restaurants put on such a great show to encourage new customers so you get to enjoy the best of the best for a fraction of the usual cost. This year, I’m planning to get my Restaurant Week passport stamped in Thailand, Italy and Mexico – happy food travels!”

Tony Harding, General Manager, Las Iguanas Quayside said:

“Restaurant Week is a firm favourite in Las Iguanas Quayside diary – we’ve only been open for 18 months so the event has helped us attract new customers who have since become regulars.  Once people sample the food and enjoy the Latin American fiesta vibe created here on the banks of the Tyne they are hooked.   Restaurant Week gives people the chance to try out restaurants without breaking the bank.  We’re geared up and ready for this January’s event.”


All the fun of the Festive Fair – Newcastle at Christmas

By | News

NE1 is bringing all the fun of the Christmas fair to town adding a new dimension to Newcastle’s Christmas festivities.

From Friday 8th December until the New Year, Northumberland Street will be lit up with the twinkling lights of traditional fairground rides, which will remain in place for the whole of the Christmas period and into 2018.

A beautiful, early 20th Century Helter Skelter will take pride of place at the south end of Northumberland Street, positioned alongside a smaller children’s ride with further additions to be announced shortly.

The rides are suitable for young and old alike, whilst younger children will particularly enjoy the ‘Toy Set’ outside Natwest bank.  The rides will add to the Christmas celebrations, and the festive cheer in the city.


Stephen Patterson, Director of Communications at NE1 said:

“As the number one retail destination in the North East of England, Newcastle’s offer is constantly changing and improving. The city has bold and ambitious plans for the future and it is important that as a city, we don’t rest on our laurels and continue to improve the experience for those that live, work and visit, especially during the festive season.  The new additions to Northumberland Street this year, combined with the Hadrian’s Tipi winter village, the ever-popular Christmas Market at Grey’s Monument, the Christmas Lights and Fenwick’s window all provide a great foundation for further developments in the future.

“We have so much to offer as a city and Christmas provides a fantastic opportunity to shout about what Newcastle does so well. We’re already planning for next year and we look forward to developing these plans with the City Council, the city’s businesses and the people of Newcastle so collectively we can deliver an outstanding Christmas experience for 2018 and beyond.”

Cabinet Member for Inclusive Growth, Cllr Ged Bell, said: “The city council and its partners are determined to make Newcastle a world class city for shopping and leisure. We recently announced a £3m package of improvements to the city centre – but this is just the start of a much bigger plan to make Northumberland and Blackett Streets, and the surrounding areas, cleaner, greener and safer.

“The helter skelter and fairground rides are a lovely attraction by NE1 and will contribute to the festive atmosphere in the run up to Christmas.”

Wallsend Wins In The Geordie Jackpot Stakes

By | News

Wallsend is officially the luckiest place in Newcastle – according to NE1 Ltd, the organisers of the new Geordie Jackpot.

Since the first ever Geordie Jackpot draw nine weeks ago, 3 of the 9 winning lottery tickets for the weekly draw have been bought by people living in the NE28 postcode area.

The first Geordie Jackpot winner, announced with much fanfare, was Wallsend’s Sharon Armstrong.   To commemorate the first lottery win, NE1 held a champagne and confetti celebration on the top of Newcastle’s Castle Keep with a cheque presentation conducted by Triple Jump World Record holder, Jonathon Edwards.

Since then, two more lucky Wallsendians have come forward to claim their lottery prizes – one in week five, the other in week seven.  Wallsend winner Mr Codd won the £1k weekly draw in week 3 and has already spent his money on wedding rings for his nuptials in the New Year.  In week five, George Forster, who lives less than a mile away, was another Wallsend winner

Ticket sales for the Geordie Jackpot have also revealed some interesting geographical differences.  Certain areas of the city are clear winners in the lottery ticket buying stakes.  The Gosforth postcode area is the biggest supporter of the local lottery so far.  To date, 12% of all tickets have been purchased in the NE3 postcode area closely followed by NE6, Walker.

Together, these two areas account for 20% of all Geordie Jackpot tickets sold.

Under represented in ticket purchasing are the Benton and Fenham areas of the city.


Sean Bullick, Chief Executive of NE1 Ltd said: “There must be something in the water in Wallsend.  3 of the 9 winners of the £1000 prize so far have come from this neck of the woods.  It has been very heartening to see ticket sales doing so well in Gosforth and Walker and we urge people across the city and further afield to get involved and support the Geordie Jackpot.  We need all expat Geordies the world over to support the Toon by buying a Geordie Jackpot ticket wherever they now reside.”


NE1 hopes to announce details of the first Geordie Jackpot funded project in the New Year and the first donation to Cash For Kids will be made before Christmas.

As well as the opportunity to win the £1,000 weekly lottery pay out, Geordie Jackpot players also have the chance to win £25,000 if they match all six numbers in the right order, a feat more than 140 times more likely than scooping the Euromillions big money payout!  The £25K jackpot is payable to all players who match the numbers in the correct order and is not divided regardless of how many winners there are.


Additional special prizes in the Geordie Jackpot also add to the excitement.  Last weekend, one lucky winner won tickets to the special, sold out Polar Express film screening at the Tyneside Cinema, where the audience dressed in their PJs and dressing gowns, enjoyed hot chocolate and gingerbread men before the film, and a visit from Father Christmas at the end of the show.


At the start of 2018 the Geordie Jackpot will be accompanied by a major special prize give-away, courtesy of Emirates Airlines, two return airline tickets to Dubai.  NE1 is lining up other prizes for the Geordie Jackpot throughout 2018 and all the details of these prizes and how to buy tickets can be found at


Money raised from the Geordie Jackpot will be used to fund events and projects in Newcastle City Centre as well as helping the region’s most disadvantaged children, with a proportion of the funds raised donated to local charity, Cash for Kids.


Newcastle is officially one of the top ten luckiest places in the UK.  Recent figures released by organisers of the National Lottery showed that Newcastle was in 8th place in the lucky rankings having more major prize-winners per head of adult population than anywhere else in the UK.


Top of the league table was Romford in Essex and Harrow was 10th.

The full top 10 is:

1. RM – Romford
2. TS – Cleveland
3. WA – Warrington
4. L – Liverpool
5. IG – Ilford
6. ME – Medway
7. NP – Newport
8. NE – Newcastle Upon Tyne
9. WN – Wigan
10. HA – Harrow