All Posts By

Catherine Corrigan

NE Business Leaders have their say on TFN Transport Plan

By | News

On the same day as NE1, with Muckle, hosted a Transport for the North business briefing The Times carried the headline ‘£1bn Roads Revolution Launched’.  Whilst the article largely dealt with ring-fencing car tax for road repairs and bypasses what we heard from TfN CEO, David Brown, was of considerably more interest and likely to have significantly greater impact on our region’s economy.


The TfN ‘area’ stretches from the border with Scotland to Cheshire, across to the Humber and everything inbetween.  Later this year TfN is set to become the first ‘sub-national’ statutory body for Transport; this will embed it for the long term in the Nation’s political and economic landscape.  Their job is ‘to drive transformational economic growth in the North of England by intelligently developing our transport infrastructure’.  TfN’s plans, they say, can create 850,000 new jobs and add £97bn to the North’s GVA by 2050.


Well, 2050 is over 30 years away and, like many I suspect, one tends to view such bold pronouncements with a degree of scepticism.  And, as I know from many years soldiering, no plan survives contact with the enemy, but then the importance of having a plan in the first is that you can adjust from it, hopefully winning through.  The mood music in the room – and there were some 40 senior business leaders present from all sectors – was really very positive.  I think they liked what David Brown had to say and what he was proposing does look good; get the priorities right, communicate these effectively and then collaborate to deliver.  It makes sense to have one organisation speaking for the North, able to pull together into one cohesive programme plans for road, rail and air investment – and set this into an economic context that can justify spending on grounds of resulting economic growth.


Here in the North East we’re impacted by geography; rivers, hills and mountains have dictated routes and we still use corridors today put in place by the Romans and Victorians. We see this legacy today as we move around the country – that’s why it’s still easier to go North-South than East-West. It’s vital, too, that links within the North also include links out to European and other international markets. This is of particular importance in the North East as we seek to develop opportunities in Northern Europe, with Newcastle the obvious jumping-off point for this. TfN have ambitious plans and made an excellent start laying out their case.


NE1’s role in this is helping draw together the supporting business voices which will make the TfN plan a compelling one for Government.  At the meeting we had senior representation including from Virgin Money, Leibherr, Greggs, UK Land Estates, Zerolight and Brewin Dolphin, plus the CBI, Swedish and German Consuls and many others.  Whilst NE1’s funding comes directly from Newcastle City Centre businesses our influence stretches more widely; it stands to reason if the region is doing well then people working, living and travelling within it will also be visiting Newcastle. That works for us and our members.  So we were very happy to help TfN reach an important and influential cohort and look forward to helping shape their transport infrastructure investment plans as these develop.


TfN’s Position Statement is at:

Thrills of Live Action High Speed, Precision Driving at NE1 Newcastle Motor Show

By | News

There will be a dramatic new addition to this year’s NE1 Newcastle Motor Show – the first ever, live-action fast paced, precision driving on Hood Street, adjacent to Grey’s Monument, in the heart of Newcastle.  Performed by one of the world’s leading stunt drivers, Paul Swift, who is renowned worldwide and has a host of film and TV credits to his name including work on BBC’s Top Gear.

Two shows will be held on Saturday 8 July at 12.30pm and 2.30pm to what are expected to be packed crowds keen to see the live performance action combined with live music.

For the first time in its history, the NE1 Newcastle Motor Show will incorporate moving vehicle display, adding to a truly unique event in the very heart of Newcastle city centre.

The display will be accompanied by  ‘The Petrolheads’, who will not only provide backing music for the driving event but will be actively involved in the stunt driving performance.

The crowds will be thrilled by the speed, precision and excitement of the driving which will all be carried out on the 8 metre wide Hood Street. Paul and his team will be driving a Ford Focus RS and ST and among the manoeuvres will be J-turns, high-speed handbrake parking, and near inch-perfect car ballet dance routines all set to music and performed at speeds which will shock and surprise the entire crowd.

The whole show is choreographed and includes a running commentary on all the manoeuvres by the drivers on a P.A. system transmitted to the assembled crowds.

The Petrolheads repertoire features a wide range of rock music to compliment the drama of the driving, from classics like Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” to ZZ Top’s “La Grange”, Free’s “Wishing Well” and many of the band’s own compositions.

This combination of guitar riffs and tyre smoke has entertained thousands of people, at shows across the UK including Wings and Wheels, Ford Fair and the Royal International Air Tattoo.

The shows are expected to draw huge crowds to Hood Street, which will be cordoned off and people are encouraged to get there early to get the best vantage point to see the action.


Ben Whitfield, Marketing and Events Manager, NE1 Ltd;

“It is a huge coup to have secured Paul Swift and his stunt driving team for the event.  It is the first time the NE1 Newcastle Motor Show has had a live motoring element which will bring huge excitement and drama to the event”


Paul Swift of Paul Swift Precision Driving

“I’m really excited to be performing at the Motor Show this weekend.  The city centre location will add a new level of excitement to the show.  The narrow street will make the action more exciting with people right on top of the action, I can’t wait for the weekend.”


NE1 Newcastle Motor Show- intu Eldon Square Fanzone

By | News

A dedicated Fanzone is to be created at Old Eldon Square during NE1 Newcastle Motor Show this year, the first dedicated entertainment and play area to be created during the weekend event, which is now in its 3rd year and is already one of the UK’s largest, free, open-air city centre motor shows in the UK.

While show stopping cars and motoring displays will be exhibited on the surrounding streets of Newcastle, Old Eldon Square will be dedicated to fun, free activities for all the family, thanks to Intu Eldon Square and its sponsorship of the Fanzone.

A range of free activities for young and old alike will be positioned in the intu Eldon Square Fanzone including the return of the ever popular, Screen on the Green which returned on Saturday, 1st July.  During the NE1 Newcastle Motor Show, there will be open air screenings of popular motoring themed films for the kids as well as other motoring clips, and the opportunity to play motoring games on the giant screen.  Among the films to be shown are Cars 2, Senna and Herbie Fully Loaded.

In addition to the open-air movies, this year a whole host of other fun activities have been added to create the FanZone.   For young motoring enthusiasts, there will be a driving pen with pedal cars for kids to have a go and take the cars for a test drive around a mini track.

Another new fun addition is a Batak Wall challenge.  A fast paced game to test players’ reactions.  The aim of the game is to strike lights on a wall as quickly and as soon as they are illuminated.  Different settings for adults and children will ensure that it will be both fun and challenging for all ages with prizes for leader board winners.

Other activities will include a 6ft tall steady hand game with prizes for those who successfully complete the challenge in record time, and remote control car racing for four players at a time to pit themselves against each other.


Phil Steele, General Manager of intu Eldon Square said:

“The Fanzone is going to be so much fun and we’re delighted to be involved in this year’s NE1 Newcastle Motor Show. intu Eldon Square is so close to the action that we were determined to get involved and to help make this year’s event bigger and better and more fun for all the family.”


Outside the Fanzone there will be other exciting hands-on activities for the public to enjoy including a Mercedes AMG Formula 1 driving simulator on Grainger Street.  The simulator will give people the chance to experience 4 minutes under the guidance of Lewis Hamilton as he races around the world famous Silverstone F1  track in testing for this year’s F1 season.

There will also be an amazing opportunity to experience the latest in virtual reality technology and take a virtual tour of the exclusive Italian manufactured, Pagani Huayra Roadster, which was recently unveiled at the Geneva Motorshow.

Thanks to the team at leading North East Virtual Reality company, ZeroLight, the public will get a rare glimpse of Pagani’s supercar which has a top speed of 210 MPH and a price tag to match With VR headsets at the ready, people will be able to take a virtual tour of the car, sit inside and marvel at the delights of the exclusive vehicle previously only ever seen at VIP events, the only thing missing will be that new car smell!


Ben Whitfield, Marketing Manager at NE1 Ltd said:

“The creation of a dedicated Fanzone, reflects the growth of the rest of the NE1 Newcastle Motor show, which is covering more areas of the city than ever this year.  We wanted to create a dedicated area for families a stone’s throw away from the hubbub of Grey Street and the main exhibition area –somewhere to keep the kids entertained when they needed a break from looking at the exhibits.

“We know the Fanzone will offer a great balance between enjoying the spectacle and having the chance for some hands on fun for young and old alike.”


Sponsors Intu Eldon Square will be encouraging Intu restaurant businesses to get involved in the Fanzone celebrations with food sampling and give-aways over the course of the weekend.