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Catherine Corrigan

Dacia Magic Weekend 2018 Back in the Toon for a Fourth Year

By | News

NE1 Ltd, Newcastle City Council and Newcastle United Football Club have pulled off a major coup and will be bringing the Rugby Football League (RFL) Dacia Magic Weekend back to Newcastle in 2018, for an unprecedented fourth year in a row.

The RFL announced their decision to bring Magic Weekend back to the city and St James’ Park as part of the grand unveiling of RFL fixtures for 2018.  Magic Weekend is a huge event in the RFL calendar and for the past three years has made its home here in Newcastle at St James’ Park.

This year, five other UK cities were in the running to host the games but Newcastle beat off this stiff competition to secure the games for the fourth year in a row, something no other UK city has ever achieved.

Newcastle has a strong track record of hosting and attracting major sporting events and past experience has shown that the city delivers.  The three previous Magic Weekends have achieved the top three record-breaking attendance figures ever recorded for the games.

Last year, audience figures topped over 65,000 with over 90% of supporters attending from outside the region, which boosted the local economy by over £9 million.

NE1 Ltd with Newcastle City Council and Newcastle United Football Club prepared a strong case for Newcastle to host the event next year and their efforts have paid off.

As well as bringing the Dacia Magic Weekend to the city, the RFL also invest in grass roots sports development in the North East through the Sky Try programme linked to Magic Weekend.  In the week leading up to the Games, a Community Day is hosted at St James’ Park with over 1000 young people playing Rugby League on the pitch.

All of this, plus the work that Newcastle Thunder and the community Rugby League clubs are doing in the North East has resulted in a rise in the number of people playing and watching the sport in the region.   Over 10,000 tickets were sold to people in the North East last year, a target that is set to increase this year.


Super League General Manager, Mark Foster said;

“We are delighted to be bringing the Dacia Magic Weekend back to Newcastle for a fourth year.  We had a number of other cities bid to host what is a fantastic event but Newcastle is a great venue for us – the stadium, the welcome we receive from the people of the North East mean that our fans love to come to Newcastle for the weekend.  The support from Newcastle City Council, NE1, and Newcastle United help make the games extremely successful.  We are really excited to return next year and hope to achieve record attendances in Newcastle for the fourth year running.”


Sean Bullick, Chief Executive of NE1 Ltd said:

“We are delighted to be hosting Magic Weekend in Newcastle for a fourth year running, something no other city has ever achieved.   Each year the event gets bigger and better as more people get acquainted with the phenomenon that is Magic.  The impact of Magic Weekend on the city is significant and the rugby games on the pitch are only part of the story – Magic brings a carnival atmosphere to the city and there’s a real buzz over the weekend with the thousands of Magic Weekend fans filling the city’s hotels, bars, restaurants and shops.  We have a strong track record of hosting major events in Newcastle and now, having secured Magic Weekend for 2018, next year is set to be the biggest year in recent memory for hosting major events. We can’t wait to deliver another hugely successful event.”


Cllr Kim McGuinness, Cabinet Member for Culture and Communities at Newcastle City Council said: “ We are absolutely thrilled to be hosting Dacia Magic Weekend for a fourth successive year, and to be working with partners to deliver another successful event and attract record breaking crowds.

“Newcastle now has a really strong reputation for hosting major sporting and cultural events, and fans come back time and time again to experience our great city and what is has to offer.

“2018 is set to be a big year for Newcastle with Magic Weekend and the Great Exhibition of the North, and we’re committed to making sure it’s truly memorable for everyone.”


Lee Charnley, Newcastle United’s managing director said:

“We’re very proud to have hosted the Dacia Magic Weekend for the last three years, and as excited as always to be hosting this magnificent sporting event once again in 2018.

“As everyone who’s attended in previous years will know, it’s a fantastic weekend of rugby which has consistently welcomed sell-out crowds and has become of the ‘jewels in the crown’ in Newcastle’s annual sporting calendar.

“We’re delighted that the Super League continue to recognise the quality of the venue, facilities and support we provide at St James’ Park, as well as the great working relationship we have developed with the Super League and our partners across the city in playing host to such a fantastic event.”​

Local Children’s Charity Cash For Kids To Benefit From Geordie Jackpot

By | News
  • 1 in 3 children in the North East is living in poverty


  • In Scotswood alone, 67% of children are living below the poverty line


  • The North East has one of the highest child poverty rates in the UK.


Cash for Kids is one local charity working hard to raise awareness of the North East’s unenviable record in the child poverty stakes and deliver a better life and future for all children in the North East.

City business champions, NE1 Ltd has teamed up with Cash for Kids naming it as the new Geordie Jackpot’s adopted charity for its first year.


It’s not all about the money though, according to Amy Dickinson from Cash for Kids.  Amy explained:

“The support NE1 and the Geordie Jackpot is giving to Cash for Kids is also about local passion and commitment to raising awareness and delivering change for all the children of the North East.


“Being approached by NE1 to be the adopted charity for the Geordie Jackpot in its first year of operation was a huge bonus for Cash for Kids.  It is a strong partnership that will supply us with a steady stream of donations enabling us to deliver much needed help on the ground to charities and to individuals.  It will allow us to reach a wider audience and help more people.


“Our work runs the gamut from supporting established charities, helping buy specialist medical equipment and toys for children with special needs to helping individual families who are in dire straits to buy a warm winter coat, or a new pair of school shoes for their child.  We want no child to be left without – and all children to have the same opportunities. The Geordie Jackpot donations will be put to great use and enable us to help more children in our community.”


Sean Bullick, Chief Executive of NE1 Ltd said:

“Forging a strong partnership between NE1 and the Geordie Jackpot will raise awareness of Cash for Kids.Our joint efforts are all about community – making changes locally by the people for the people.”


“The aims and aspirations of the Geordie Jackpot mirror the aims of Cash For Kids. It is all about making a difference, locally.   A difference to Geordie Jackpot winners, a difference to the city through the transformational projects and initiatives it will pay for and for the children and charities Cash for Kids help.


“It is fitting that the Geordie Jackpot which is driven by passion and local pride will be helping some of the most disadvantaged in our community.  The people of Newcastle doing it for themselves, helping the city and others by supporting and getting behind the Geordie Jackpot.  We will all benefit when the city and its people are given greater opportunities.”

The team at Cash for Kids work on a shoestring to transfer 92p of every £1 they raise to the children and charities they work hard to help.  The average transfer rate for other charities is 47p

NE1 in Celebratory Mood with First Ever Geordie Jackpot Winner

By | News

Sharon Armstrong, 40, from Wallsend was named the first ever Geordie Jackpot winner after the inaugural lottery draw on Saturday 7 October.  Sharon was delivered by Rolls-Royce to Newcastle’s Castle Keep to be presented with her winning cheque for £1,000 by world champion triple jumper, North East athletic legend and Olympic gold medallist, Jonathan Edwards.


NE1 broke the news to the winner on Saturday in a telephone call shortly after the draw was made at 8pm.


Sharon originally from Sunniside, has lived in Wallsend for the past 17 years and works in Wallsend at Voyage Care, a residential home for people with acquired brain injuries.


Sharon was given the full VIP treatment when accepting her prize presented by Jonathan Edwards and NE1 Chief Executive, Sean Bullick.


To help celebrate her win and to mark the first lottery prize give-away Sharon was chauffeur-driven to the Castle in a Rolls-Royce, provided by The Vermont and was also presented with a bottle of champagne and a meal for two.


There were though two local winners for the Geordie Jackpot’s inaugural draw– as well as Sharon, the winner of the first bolt on prize was someone who bought their ticket in the west end of the city.  The second winner lands a VIP mini cruise to Amsterdam and has been notified by e-mail but has yet to respond to collect their prize.


Sharon said:
“I have never won anything before so it was such a lovely surprise and doubly special to know that I’m the first ever winner. I bought my Geordie Jackpot ticket after hearing about the lottery through NE1’s email updates on what’s happening in the city. Knowing that it was a charitable lottery and that the money raised would benefit the city and disadvantaged kids meant that I was happy to sign up and support it on a weekly basis.

“I don’t yet know how I’m going to spend my winnings but I do know I will enjoy it.  It is my partner’s birthday at the end of this month so I might treat us both to a night away, a really nice meal or use it to pay for a Christmas to remember.”


Jonathan Edwards who presented the winner with her prize said:

“I am delighted to lend my support to the Geordie Jackpot.  It is great news for Sharon, for future winners and great news for the city.  Newcastle has been my adopted home for over twenty years and it is great to see NE1 looking for innovative ways to make sure it keeps developing and improving.  I’m glad I can play my part and hope the public play theirs by buying tickets and getting behind the Geordie Jackpot.”


Sean Bullick, Chief Executive of NE1 Ltd said:

“Handing over the first Geordie Jackpot cheque is an historical moment – we are delighted that Sharon is our first ever Geordie Jackpot winner!  The response from the general public has been phenomenal – Geordies are really showing their pride for the city and playing their part in how Newcastle develops in the future.  We love that the public is getting involved, investing in their city and having their say in what new additions they would like to see in Newcastle.

And not forgetting the £25,000 jackpot which is up for grabs and a guaranteed winner of £1,000 every week.”


All people have to do to be in with a chance of winning is to play the Geordie Jackpot online and buy their tickets at before midnight on the Friday prior to the draw each Saturday.   The money raised from the Geordie Jackpot will go to good causes including transformational investments in the city centre to make it greener, more engaging and family friendly, as well as to local charity, Cash for Kids.


NE1 is looking at a series of city centre improvements based on feedback and suggestions from the general public.  Among the ideas up for consideration is a feature water fountain in the city centre, large place branding lettering spelling out the word Newcastle, and a family friendly pop up park located at Grey’s Monument.


The Geordie Jackpot is another first for Business Improvement District Company (BID), NE1 Ltd and for Newcastle.  No BID anywhere else in the world has launched its own city centre lottery to support and fund the delivery of city centre improvements including both permanent and temporary installations.