All Posts By

Catherine Corrigan

January 2018 Celebrates the 15th NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week

By | News

The date has been set for the 15th NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week.  It will take place between 15 – 21 January 2018.  Over 100 Newcastle city centre based restaurants are lined up to take part, offering diners the traditional Restaurant Week opportunity of dining in style for only £10 or £15 per head.


Over 100 restaurants have signed up for this January’s event and a number of them are new venues that have opened in the city since the last Restaurant Week was held in August.  Among the newcomers are The Laundrette, Aurora Kitchen, French Quarter, Hudson and Signor Prosecco – all were quick to get involved months after opening their doors.


Inspired by New York and its original Restaurant Week concept, NE1 launched Newcastle Restaurant Week in 2011 to turn the spotlight on the city’s restaurant scene and encourage people to try out some of the city’s top restaurants for the first time, all for a fixed price menu.  Newcastle Restaurant Week was the first of its kind in the UK and many other cities have adopted the initiative, seeking to emulate Newcastle’s success.


The event was designed to boost trade at traditionally quiet times of the year in January and August but is now so popular and much-anticipated that the week is among the busiest of the year for participating restaurants and sees many of the restaurants fully booked for the week.


Last January, the event delivered a number of record breaking firsts for participating restaurants, it hit the 100 milestone mark for those taking part, delivered a £1/2 million business boost for these venues and saw 45,000 people dining out during Restaurant Week.   The event also broke all previous website activity with over 1.4 million visits to the NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week page before the week began.


Stephen Patterson, Director of Communications at NE1 Ltd said:

“Newcastle Restaurant Week is one of the most popular events in NE1’s annual events calendar and is eagerly anticipated each January and August.  We originally launched the event with only 13 restaurants and it has grown dramatically over the last 6 years – mirroring the expansion of the city’s restaurant scene, which now has more restaurants per square mile than any other Northern city, and the highest independent start up rate of any other city outside London  We’re always delighted to welcome new restaurants into the fold and hope they have a successful week.”


Terry Laybourne said:
“We have always supported the idea of NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week.  It is great to have an event that brings Newcastle’s restaurant community together and allows us to celebrate the city’s culinary credentials.

“In August, we timed Porterhouse’s opening in the Fenwick Food Hall to coincide with Restaurant Week. The event is always so successful for our restaurants and it helped Porterhouse to establish itself very quickly on the restaurant scene.  It’s always a busy week, allowing diners to try new venues, and this popularity tests our kitchens, the team and the menus.  If Porterhouse and sister restaurants within 21 Hospitality Group can cope with the rigours of NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week, they can cope with anything.”


Louise Fawcett, General Manager, Laundrette Restaurant said:

“We knew all about NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week even before we’d opened and were very keen to get involved as soon as we could.   We’ve only been open for three months so are very excited to be involved in our first Restaurant Week and have a great menu in store for diners.  It is a great way for people to come and try out what the Laundrette has to offer and our staff are gearing up for the onslaught.”


For details of all participating venues and to download NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week vouchers visit

New Year’s Eve midnight fireworks announced

By | News

NewcastleGateshead Initiative in partnership with NE1 are delighted to announce the return of the New Year’s Eve midnight fireworks on the NewcastleGateshead quayside.

Back by popular demand, the celebrations will welcome in 2018 with a bang as the fireworks light up the Tyne and provide a dramatic backdrop for NewcastleGateshead’s seven bridges and impressive architecture.

The event will be free and un-ticketed, with night owls invited to head down to the Quayside at the stroke of midnight to herald in the New Year in spectacular style.

Stephen Patterson, Director of Communications at NE1 Ltd, said:

“We are delighted to be working with NGI on this year`s New Year’s Eve midnight fireworks. The Quayside provides a striking backdrop for the display and delivers an amazing experience for the thousands of visitors that flock to the Quayside to welcome in the New Year. It’s a much loved event in the city’s annual event calendar and delivers a significant boost for businesses on both sides of the river.”

The FREE display will be delivered by events company Allan Hillary Events and Reaction Fireworks and is made possible thanks to the support of local quayside businesses – Akenside Traders, Bridge Tavern, Gusto, North NE P&I, Pitcher and Piano, Slug and Lettuce, Ward Hadaway, Malmaison, Fresh Element (BALTIC), North Music Trust, and Sage Gateshead.

Vikki Leaney, Senior Festival and Events Manager at NewcastleGateshead, said:

“We are really pleased to be working in partnership with NE1, and events company Allan Hillary Events and Reaction Fireworks, to deliver the welcome return of the New Year’s Eve midnight fireworks on the quayside this year. We know that for many, this is the highlight of our New Year’s Eve Winter Festival celebrations and last year saw over 10,000 people in attendance for the event.

“NewcastleGateshead’s iconic Quayside at night provides a very special setting to see in the New Year, and we look forward to another successful display to mark the arrival of 2018.”

The midnight celebrations follow East of the Sun, West of the Moon, a family event on Newcastle’s Town Moor earlier that evening from 4pm-6pm.
For more information on NewcastleGateshead’s Winter Festival visit:

NE1 receives international recognition for services to region

By | News


Newcastle NE1, the city’s Business Improvement District, has been recognised for its contribution to the North East at a national awards ceremony.

Tariq Albassam, Head of Operations at NE1, accepted an award ‘in recognition of the organisation’s work in supporting the region’ at an event hosted by the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce in London to commemorate their 40th Anniversary.

The award came about after NE1 hosted a delegation of high level representatives from the Arab Nations as part of an Arab-British Chamber visit in March 2017. During the visit, the delegates espoused the view that NE1’s approach to business engagement and forging long term relationships was exemplary.

The ceremony, held at The Banqueting House in Whitehall, celebrating the work of the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce in enhancing trade, investment and economic cooperation between the UK and the Arab Countries markedfour decades of their work.

Tariq said: “We were delighted to be invited to the Arab-British Chamber’s 40th Anniversary celebrations following their successful visit to Newcastle earlier in the year. To be recognised for our work promoting the businesses of the city is such high praise from the Arab-British Chamber, and we are incredibly proud to have accepted it.”

Throughout the year, NE1 has welcomed a host of foreign dignitaries, including the acting US Ambassador, Lew Lukens, First Secretary at the High Commission of India in London, Mr Sunil Kumar, and a delegation from Construction & Economy Research Institute of Korea, who wanted to better understand the BID’s approach to regeneration and economic growth.

Newcastle NE1 Chief Executive, Sean Bullick, said: “Understanding how other countries operate at national and regional level helps us to gain new perspectives on a number of business and social agendas, which is why we ensure that foreign visits to the region are given high priority.

“When we hosted the delegation from the Arab Nations, we were impressed at their interest in the city, and the wide range of world-leading businesses located here. This award acknowledges the strong relationships that have been established and we very much look forward to working with the Arab-British Chamber and Arab Nations in the future to identify opportunities for the city and its businesses.”

The Continued Success of Newcastle’s Early Evening Economy

By | News

NE1 Limited, Newcastle’s Business Improvement District, is once again celebrating the success of Alive after Five, its award winning initiative which has transformed Newcastle City centre and has been worth an estimated £839 million since launch.

Latest figures show that an additional 13.7 million visits have been made to the city in the Alive after Five hours of 5-8pm since 2010.

Alive after Five was devised by Business Improvement District company, Newcastle NE1 Ltd, to keep the city open and vibrant in the early evening to ensure that it continued to hold its own against other modern, European, regional capital cities.

Alive after Five extended retail opening hours until 8pm throughout the year supported by free car parking after 5pm in the council owned multi-storey car parks across the city, and an annual programme of high quality events combined with a heavy weight marketing campaign.

The initiative is still unrivalled anywhere else in the UK and helped NE1 secure an award for the ‘Best BID In Europe’ at the 2016 EU BID Congress in Germany.


Stephen Patterson, Director of Communications at Newcastle NE1, said: “Alive after Five has had a transformational impact on Newcastle’s early evening economy. With the lights on, shutters up and thousands of additional people in the city in the early evening, it is now a far more welcoming and vibrant experience. These results underline the significant impact Alive after Five has had, and whilst the scheme has been a huge success, we cannot afford to be complacent. As a city, we need to be relentless in delivering the best possible customer experience and improving the city’s transport links at a regional, national and international level.”


Ollie Vaulkhard, owner, Vaulkhard Group, said: “Initiatives like Alive After Five pave the way to making our city a more accessible and welcoming place to be in the early evening. It keeps energy in the streets for people staying out after shopping to enjoy the many restaurants and bars the city has to offer, which has made a great deal of difference to the success of licensed premises.”


Paddy Forster, owner, Patrick Foster Barbers on High Bridge said: “This scheme has helped the city adapt to changing consumer behaviours and shopping and leisure habits.  People get home from work and want to go out, so we stay open until 9pm four nights a week and our customers love having free parking near to allow them to pop in for a haircut. It is great for the city to have shops, businesses and leisure operators open in the early evening, it makes for a much more welcoming and vibrant place to live and work.”