Remploy helps Stephen make a Mitie change to his life

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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

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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

Sixth Anniversary for NE1’s Alive after Five

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  • 11.6 million additional visitors post 5pm since launch
  • Estimated spend of £708 million for the city since 2010
  • 1.9 million extra visitors in last twelve months
  • 45 new restaurants opened with 26 planned for 2016


This October 2016 marked the sixth anniversary of NE1’s Alive after Five, the award winning initiative which has transformed Newcastle City centre and has been worth an estimated £708 million since launch.  Latest figures show that an additional 11.6 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, NE1 Ltd to keep the city open and vibrant in the early evening to ensure that Newcastle continued to hold its own against other modern, European, regional capital cities.

NE1 Ltd delivered Alive after Five as a package, the basis of which was extended retail opening hours until 8pm throughout the year supported by free car parking after 5pm in the 7 council owned multi-storey car parks across the city, 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 recent EU BID Congress in Germany.

Alive after Five was Newcastle’s response to the significant shift in consumer behaviour and expectations. NE1 identified that an innovative approach was required to ensure that the city was capable of competing with other national and international cities to attract business, employers, students and customers, especially international audiences, used to 24-hour cities.  Six years in and the impact of Alive after Five has been significant. It has unlocked the potential of the city’s early evening economy and has made the city a far more welcoming and vibrant place after 5pm. Newcastle’s vibrant restaurant scene has been a major beneficiary of the additional footfall generated, with over 45 new restaurants opening in the city since 2010, with another 26 planned for 2016.

Sean Bullick, Chief Executive of NE1 said:

“Alive after Five has transformed Newcastle’s early evening economy. Bridging the gap between the city’s daytime and night-time economies has delivered a more customer focussed experience and now, people are free to shop, dine, socialise and take advantage of Newcastle’s cultural offer at a time convenient to them.  The city provides better value with free parking after 5pm and feels welcoming, vibrant and alive in the early evening. The six-year results underline the impact Alive after Five has had, but this isn’t the end of the journey, rather, it provides a solid foundation for future growth and investment in our city.”

Cllr Ged Bell, Cabinet Member for Investment and Development at Newcastle City Council said: “We’re delighted with the success of Alive after Five, and it’s clear that our cultural and retail offer is proving popular with residents and visitors alike. Alive after Five goes beyond that though with far reaching economic and social benefits, with a diverse and increasing mix of shops, bars, restaurants and cultural venues all contributing to our city’s growth.

“Our ambition is to make our city centre a vibrant shopping and leisure destination to rival that of other European regional cities, and we are actively working with partners to create the right conditions that will encourage further investment, grow our business base and create jobs in Newcastle.

Alive after Five has had an enormous impact on the city which extends beyond the obvious impact on retail spending, the initiative has been welcomed by a range of businesses and industry sectors.

Phil Steele, General Manager of intu Eldon Square commented:

“Alive after Five has been successful because it offers consumers greater choice in when and how they shop.  It has helped create the right environment for growth and investment in the city, as seen in our own on-going transformation of intu Eldon Square.  Unlocking the early evening has been incredibly important for retailers and the Alive after Five hours are now an integral part of the day’s trade which we are continuing to invest in to complement the opening of our 22 restaurants in the Grey’s Quarter in Autumn 2016.

Charles Penn, Head of Marketing for leading North East law firm Sintons, based in the city centre said: “Sintons together with many of our clients are involved in, as well as benefitting from Alive after Five which has helped transform Newcastle making the retail, leisure and property aspects of the city even stronger.  Alive after Five helps our business directly by making Newcastle a great city in which to live and work.  When competing nationally to attract and retain talent, having initiatives like Alive after Five helps gives Newcastle the edge.”

Professor Richard Davies, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Engagement and Internationalisation, Newcastle University, said: “Initiatives like Alive After Five pave the way for making our city a more accessible and welcoming place to be. Our students come from all over the world, many from countries where going out in the early evening is an important part of their culture, so this goes a long way towards making them feel at home. But it’s not only great for our students to feel they can safely walk around – it is also a great boost for the local business economy.”

Philip Bernays, Chief Executive Newcastle Theatre Royal

“The Theatre Royal is fortunate to be located in the heart of the city and for our business and for our customers it is a huge benefit to have shops and businesses around us open and trading after 5pm.  The city’s cultural offer can’t exist and survive in isolation it is best enjoyed as part of a rich and diverse city centre offer.  For theatre goers being able to do some shopping, or having a meal before the show is a great asset, add to that free car parking after 5pm and it all means a better experience for our customers.   Having a busy, vibrant city centre contributes to the Theatre Royal’s success and helps us attract some of the award winning theatrical productions we have been privileged to stage.
Paddy Forster, owner, Patrick Foster Barbers on High Bridge said:

“Newcastle has changed dramatically over the last six years – NE1’s Alive after Five has helped the city adapt and keep pace with changing consumer behaviour and shopping and leisure habits.  People want Newcastle to be open when they have time to shop and use services.   As an independent business we needed to open later to cater for this changing customer demand and it has really helped our business.  We stay open until 9pm four nights a week and our customers love having free parking near High Bridge 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.”


What else was happening in 2010


  • Newcastle defeated Sunderland 5 -1 in the premier league derby
  • Labour were defeated in the May general election making way for a coalition Government between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats led by David Cameron
  • Prince William announced his engagement to Kate Middleton
  • Matt McCardle won the X Factor
  • Julian Assange – WikiLeaks founder took up exile in the Ecuador embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden on sexual assault charges
  • Take That sold over one million tickets in a day including tickets for their concert at the Stadium of Light in May the following year

Dacia Magic Weekend to Return to Newcastle in 2017

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Following the record breaking success of the 2016 Dacia Magic Weekend, Super League (Europe) is delighted to announce that the 2017 event will be returning to St James’ Park, Newcastle, on Saturday May 20 and Sunday May 21.

Magic Weekend was first held in Newcastle in 2015 and returned for a second year in 2016 when more than 68,000 fans attended across the weekend – the highest ever recorded for the two-day event.

The fixtures for Magic Weekend 2017 have also been revealed with three Betfred Super League games taking place on the Saturday and three on the Sunday.

Wigan Warriors and Warrington Wolves will face each other in a rematch of the 2016 Super League Grand Final in the closing game on Saturday evening. The Warriors, who defeated the Wolves 12-6 at Old Trafford earlier this month, will lock horns with Warrington for the first ever time at a Magic Weekend at 7pm on Saturday May 20.

The two other Super League semi-finalists, Hull FC and St Helens, will face each other on Saturday afternoon at 4:45pm following the opening fixture of the weekend, Widnes Vikings v Wakefield Trinity which kicks off the round of Betfred Super League fixtures at 2:30pm.

Catalans Dragons and Huddersfield Giants will kick off the second day of the annual Rugby League extravaganza when they go head-to-head at 1pm. Leigh Centurions will get their first ever taste of a Dacia Magic Weekend as they take on the Salford Red Devils at 3:15pm before one of the most eagerly anticipated clashes of the Rugby League season, a Yorkshire derby between Leeds Rhinos and Castleford Tigers, brings the curtain down on an action-packed weekend at 5:30pm.

Announcing the decision to return to St James’ Park, Super League General Manager, Mark Foster, said: “We are delighted to be bringing the Dacia Magic Weekend back to Newcastle for the third successive year. The city has made us feel incredibly welcome and we know that our fans love visiting the North East not just to witness a whole round of the Betfred Super League but also to take in everything else that this wonderful city and surrounding area has to offer.”

It is estimated that the 2016 Dacia Magic Weekend was worth more than £4m to the local economy in the North East and having broken the record for attendance at a Magic Weekend two years in a row it is expected that crowds will head to the city in large numbers once again.

Leader of Newcastle City Council, Councillor Nick Forbes, said: “I’m delighted by this hat trick for Newcastle. Hosting the Magic Weekend for the third year in a row is a chance to show the nation once again all that our vibrant city centre and warm Geordie welcome have to offer.

“Newcastle is gaining a stronger and stronger reputation for hosting major sporting and cultural events. This is all part of our plan to make Newcastle the Great North City, and we know that tournaments such as this attract visitors who want to come back time and again.

“The Magic Weekend is also brilliant for promoting grassroots sports and as in previous years there will be a lot of ways for fans of all ages and abilities to join in the celebrations.”

Sean Bullick, Chief Executive of NE1 Ltd, co-city sponsors of Dacia Magic Weekend, said: “We’re delighted that the Dacia Magic Weekend is returning to Newcastle for the 3rd year running. After hosting hugely successful events in 2015 and 2016, both of which saw record breaking attendance, this is great news for the city, the Super League and the fans. It is fantastic to see the city coming together to secure these high profile events for the city, especially in light of last week’s announcement on the Great North Expo. We can’t wait to welcome the Super League and Magic fans back to Newcastle.”

Tickets for the 2016 Magic Weekend at St. James’ Park, Newcastle, are now on sale and day tickets are priced from £25 for adults and £12.50 for concessions. Weekend tickets are also available from £40 for adults and £20 for concessions.

Tickets can be purchased by visiting or by calling the Rugby League Ticket Hotline on 0844 856 1113 (calls cost 7p plus your network connection)

The full 2017 Dacia Magic Weekend schedule is as follows:

Saturday May 20th 2017

Widnes Vikings v Wakefield Trinity (14:30)

Hull FC v St Helens (16:45)

Wigan Warriors v Warrington Wolves (19:00)

Sunday May 21st 2017   

Catalans Dragons v Huddersfield Giants (13:00)

Leigh Centurions v Salford Red Devils (15:15)

Castleford Tigers v Leeds Rhinos (17:30)

Vision for Newcastle’s Northumberland Street welcomed by businesses

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A shared vision to transform Northumberland Street into a world-class retail and leisure destination to rival that of other major European regional cities has been welcomed by local businesses.


Newcastle City Council and partners NE1 Ltd launched their collaborative approach to local retailers, traders, landlords, property agents, banks and building societies, setting out how the city can build on improvements already taking place, to extend Newcastle’s retail, leisure and cultural offer.


Pat Ritchie, the council’s Chief Executive, told a packed audience in the Tyneside Cinema how the council is investing in Newcastle’s future now, making optimum use of its financial powers and working in partnership to support business growth and encourage investment. This in turn will create employment opportunities that will define future generations.


A panel debate and discussion session identified some common themes in terms of maintaining Newcastle’s unique identity and enhancing the experience , creating a sense of place, and celebrating and strengthening what’s already good about the city. Issues such as anti-social behaviour and aggressive begging were highlighted, and role of the partners in dealing with these discussed.


Cllr Ged Bell, Cabinet Member for Investment & Development said: “Newcastle has a proud heritage, and we want to be equally proud and ambitious for its future.


“We’re delighted with the response we’ve had in these early stages of stakeholders engagement. Change can only happen if we work together with businesses and property owners to realise our ambitions for Northumberland Street and its surrounding areas. We don’t have all the answers, so we need to make best use of our collective resources and expertise to shape the retail and cultural heart of our city centre.”


Many improvements are already delivered or nearing completion including the £1.1m transformation of John Dobson Street into a tree-lined boulevard – the city’s flagship project with segregated cycle ways, new road crossings, and improved public transport links. These are complemented by the redevelopment of Monument Mall, the refurbished Intu Eldon Square, and Grey’s Quarter which opens next month.


Sean Bullick, Chief Executive of Business Improvement District (BID) Company, NE1 Ltd said;

“The meeting was the first step in a long and exciting process to transform Northumberland Street and strengthen it as the spine of the city.  The key to delivering success will be collaboration between Newcastle City Council, NE1 and all the stakeholders.  This is such a creative and unique approach to the scheme, nowhere else in the UK has adopted such an open collaborative approach to urban regeneration.  NE1 is committed to playing its part in delivering the project and we’re looking forward to working with businesses and interested parties to transform Northumberland Street and the surrounding area.”

The partners have secured international and industry expertise from Mark Williams as independent Chair of Northumberland Street Working Group.

Robin Greenwell, Manager of Leeds Building Society on Northumberland Street added:

“Our branches are vital to our purpose to help people save and have the home they want. This is demonstrated by our current refurbishment programme, which includes our Newcastle branch.

“As a building society, it’s important to us to support the communities where our customers live and work so we’re pleased to be part of efforts to keep Newcastle city centre vibrant, thriving and attractive.”


Sir Len Fenwick, Chief Executive of Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust who also attended  the meeting said: “It was genuinely inspiring to hear the views of key stakeholders who have a vested interest in the type of place they want Newcastle to be, and I commend the council and NE1 Ltd for their collaborative approach.


“As one of the biggest healthcare specialists in the UK, thousands of people travel to Newcastle hospitals every week for healthcare provision, many from outside the region. These patients bring families and support networks with them, many of whom use Newcastle for shopping, eating and for accommodation. We need to ensure therefore that we have a city centre it’s fit for purpose and accessible to all, and that it exceeds the expectations of all who use it.”


A working group has been set up involving a range of partners who will secure  the services of retail and economic expertise as well as a design team. They will be tasked with developing a feasibility study and business case for Northumberland Street and adjoining areas. Stakeholders will be consulted throughout the different stages of the study to shape proposals, with a view to agreeing recommendations in summer 2017.


NE1 Ltd Awarded £1.6 Million From Heritage Lottery Fund to Redevelop Bigg Market in Newcastle

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NE1 Ltd learnt this week that it has been successful in its bid for £1.6 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).  The award will allow NE1 Ltd to deliver its plans to transform the historic Bigg Market area of Newcastle, restore its historic significance and ensure that it is making its rightful contribution to the city’s economic fortunes now and into the future.

The £1.6 million HLF award, with match funding from NE1 Ltd, Newcastle City Council and property owners, will deliver a total of £2.9 million investment into the Bigg Market.  NE1 is confident that this will unlock further private sector investment of up to £30 million in and around the area.

Working with Newcastle City Council and the area’s property owners, NE1 will now be able to implement its plans, which were warmly received by the public and businesses, as well as by historic building enthusiasts and organisations in the North East when they were unveiled earlier this year.

The Bigg Market is at the historic heart of the city with 31 listed buildings, an ancient market area and is in close proximity to other historic city landmarks including St Nicholas’ Cathedral, the Castle Keep and the recently developed Central Station, as well as sitting astride the key pedestrian route from Central Station to Grey’s Monument.

With this funding essential conservation work can be carried out to listed buildings and improving shopfronts.  The public realm will also be rejuvenated to create a series of levelled terraces to transform its appearance and better suit a variety of different uses, including outdoor eating and drinking and markets.  The project also aims to re-establish historic walking routes and support businesses to improve the quality of their offer in the area.

The plans aim to create an economically sustainable business model for owners of the listed buildings.  Improving and investing in the fabric of the buildings and restoring their appearance will go some way to achieving this, but the goal is to reposition the Bigg Market as a popular destination of quality creating the right conditions to encourage people, business and events back to the area.  By creating appealing, functional and useable spaces it is hoped that the area will be enlivened and a programme of quality events and activities can be developed which will work to keep the Bigg Market active.

More soft landscaping will be introduced, together with improved lighting designed not only to reduce anti-social behaviour but to add feature lighting on bannisters, walls, and to highlight architectural design detail on some of the significant heritage assets.

In the first phase of the project, HLF funding enabled NE1 to map out detailed plans for the redevelopment of the area and scope the project, including working closely with businesses to encourage their involvement and buy in to the plans as well as seeking the necessary planning approvals and permissions.

NE1 will now be able to implement these plans and work is expected to begin in Spring 2017.

Sean Bullick, Chief Executive at NE1 Ltd said:

“We’re absolutely delighted that the HLF has backed our plans to reinvigorate Newcastle’s Bigg Market recognizing both its significance as a major heritage asset and the contribution the area can make to the future economic prospects of the city.  Thanks to the HLF award, and the City Council who are providing a £300k grant towards the public realm works, we will now be able to realize our shared vision for the area. We know that the £1.6 million HLF funding will be the catalyst for change and the key to unlocking further multi-million investment in the area.  The Bigg Market transformation will be hugely significant for the whole city.

“We can’t wait to start working with businesses and with the City Council to deliver our plans.”

Ivor Crowther, Head of HLF North East, said: “Restoring historic townscapes can play a central role in the regeneration of places we love. Thanks to National Lottery players this project will breathe new life into the Bigg Market, complementing surrounding landmarks and creating a sustainable and positive future.”

Cllr Ged Bell, Cabinet Member for Investment and Development at Newcastle City Council said: “Securing this funding will now allow the partners to progress with plans to restore and transform this historic quarter of the city, making best use of its assets and breathing new life into the Bigg Market.

“This is a prime example of how working together can help unlock further investment, and we’re delighted to have secured this funding, which is testament to the hard work of all the partners. The Bigg Market is a major part of our city centre ambitions to extend Newcastle’s retail, leisure and cultural offer, supporting the council’s Re-Newcastle programme of investment focused on renewing and reshaping our city.”

News of the HLF funding award for NE1 Ltd comes a week after the Business Improvement District (BID) company was named top BID in Europe, a major accolade that has never previously been awarded to any BID company outside Germany.  The prize was in recognition for NE1’s work in Newcastle including its Alive after Five initiative which has had a transformational affect on Newcastle city centre adding an estimated £591 million to the local economy since its launch in October 2010.


NE1 Wins EU BID Award 2016 – Newcastle First City Outside Germany to Win Prestigious European Prize

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Newcastle is the first city outside of Germany to win the prestigious EU BID Award, presented by the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry, DIHK.

NE1 Ltd, the Business Improvement District company for Newcastle City Centre, has won the award in recognition of the diverse range of major projects delivered including Alive after Five, which has attracted 9.7m additional visitors in to the city and contributed an estimated £591 million to the North East economy since its launch in October 2010, with Newcastle Central Gateway and Newcastle City Marina also cited as exemplar projects.

The award was announced and presented at the European BID Congress, the 8th annual conference, organized by the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce, this year held in Wuppertal, Germany on 14 and 15 September.  Sean Bullick, Chief Executive of NE1 Ltd, was on hand to collect the prize alongside Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council and Adam Serfontein, the Chairman of NE1 Ltd and Managing Director of property group, Hanro.

Alive after Five has had a transformational effect on Newcastle city centre linking the city’s day and night time economies and encouraging new business and visitors into the city centre.  The judging panel consisting of BID experts from the German Chambers of Commerce and Industry, as well as from the DIHK, recognised the contribution Alive after Five has made to the city and the collaborative approach from NE1, the City Council and local businesses when awarding the prize. Previous award recipients have included prestigious locations such as BID Nikolaiquartier in Hamburg, the location of Germany’s largest BID.

The Association of Chambers of Industry and Commerce in Germany organise the annual Congress and awards to encourage entrepreneurs and business owners to play a greater part in improving inner city prosperity in countries across Europe.  The event has been held since 2008.

NE1 was awarded the prize this year for its continuing efforts to champion business issues and development in Newcastle and in recognition of the success of Alive after Five, which is still unique in the UK.

Since its launch, Alive after Five has helped to create a city that appeals to a wider demographic, making it feel more welcoming and safer. The package of extended retail opening to 8pm, free car parking after 5pm and a series of early evening offers and promotions supported by a heavyweight marketing campaign and events programme collectively have delivered a multi million pound boost to the local economy, estimated to be in excess of £591 million.

Alive after Five has boosted visitor numbers with 9.7 million additional visitors after 5pm in the city centre and a 2.2% year on year footfall increase in 2015, outperforming the national average by 4.2%.

One of the biggest growth sectors in the city has been the restaurant industry with 45 new restaurants opening in the last 5 years, with a further 26 scheduled to open in 2016 creating in the region of 2,000 full and part-time jobs.

Sean Bullick, Chief Executive of NE1 Ltd said:

“We’re delighted to be the first city outside Germany to win this prestigious award.  Alive after Five has been tremendously successful for Newcastle and it is wonderful to receive international recognition for the initiative and its success.  One of our goals is to continue to strengthen and improve the city centre offer to ensure that we maintain our rightful place as a European regional capital city and continue to attract the business, visitors and investment that this affords. Awards like this help put the city on the map.”

Judge Tine Fuchs, of the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry said: “The winner of this year’s BID AWARD is Newcastle upon Tyne. For the first time, a foreign urban development project has won the award of the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK).  Similar German initiatives can learn a lot from the winner from the North East of England. This business improvement district (BID) supports the development of the entire city centre.  Its Alive after 5 initiative promotes uniform opening hours for retail businesses.”

Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes said: “This award from Germany rightly recognises what the people and businesses who make up our city see for themselves on a daily basis; Newcastle is the Great North City with a vibrant and welcoming night life.”

“The Alive after Five initiative has seen the city come to life on an evening as shoppers and families from across the North East enjoy everything from world class food to creative street festivals.”

“I and others in Newcastle are determined to build on this with major new investment plans such as the transformation of the Stephenson Quarter or East Pilgrim Street, further enhancing our reputation as one of Europe’s key regional capitals.”

Students From Around The World Given A Warm Geordie Welcome

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Students from 152 different countries will be arriving in Newcastle over the next month and 25 days of celebrations have been organised to welcome them to the city.

Organised to coincide with the International Welcome Weeks of the city’s three Higher Education (HE) institutions, Newcastle and Northumbria universities and Newcastle College, the celebrations kicked off with a flag-raising ceremony organised by Newcastle NE1, the city’s Business Improvement District (BID).

The ceremony marked the start of a 25 day-long welcome to Newcastle’s new and returning students, during which the flags of all 152 countries will be displayed in rotation on 30 flagpoles outside the Civic Centre and around the city.

Attendees at the ceremony included students from a multitude of countries, representatives of Newcastle’s academic, business and political institutions, and consular staff from France, Sweden and Norway and Newcastle United Chief Executive Lee Charnley. Students, consular staff and local businesses will help with the flag raising.

Throughout the period seven spotlights, located at prominent and iconic locations throughout the city, will light up the sky each evening, with their beams converging above Grey’s Monument. The opening and closing of the student welcome are marked by spectacular fireworks displays on the evenings of 8th September and 2nd October.

Making international students welcome is particularly important to Newcastle, which regularly tops polls for the best student experience in the UK, as Newcastle NE1 estimates that Newcastle’s universities contribute £1.3 billion to the city’s economy each year. The city is also home to an impressively large number of its former students; 60% of doctors graduating in the city for example, remain after completing their studies.

The international student welcome weeks organised by Newcastle’s HE institutions give overseas students the chance to explore the city and the North East, with visits to St. James’ Park and important local sites, and to meet other students from around the world and the UK,

Sean Bullick, Newcastle NE1 Chief Executive, said: “Newcastle has always been a truly international city with a history of global travel and trade. Today’s ceremony and the upcoming student welcome celebrations show that despite a change in the UK’s relationship with the European Union, we are open for study, business and tourism. Our city’s diverse and growing economy is boosted by our fantastic higher education offering, which is known across the world.

“As one of the UK’s best known and most well regarded cities, known for our culture, unique retail offering and academic excellence, it is essential that students from around the globe know they are welcome in Newcastle.”

Jon Reast, Pro-Vice Chancellor (International) at Northumbria University, said: “Northumbria’s international students and staff play a crucial role in helping to position the University at the centre of global academic excellence, innovation, diversity and research. Newcastle is a fantastic destination to work and study, and I’m sure that the welcome events planned over the coming weeks will help our new students realise how important they are, not only to the academic institutions, but also for the city as a whole.”

Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council, said: ““Newcastle is a global city, and every year we welcome thousands of students from across the world to study here.

“These students enrich our city while they are here, and many go on to be ambassadors for Newcastle when they graduate.

“Every successful city in the world has vibrant, talented and diverse universities and students. With Brexit it is still early days, but it is clear that any restrictions the Government makes on overseas students studying here will harm the competitive edge we currently have. “

Professor Richard Davies, Pro Vice-Chancellor Engagement and Internationalisation at Newcastle University, said: “We are proud to have such a diverse and talented body of students who come from all over the world to study here in Newcastle.

“They make our campus and our city the thriving place that it is and we hope this next month will show them how much we value them.”

Half a Million Pound Revenue Generation during NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week

By | News

NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week is over for another year, it’s fifth successive year, and the results from participating restaurants show that August’s event was the most successful yet with a 20% average increase on last year’s figures.  More than 40,000 diners took advantage of the Restaurant Week offer generating over ½ million pounds extra revenue for participating restaurants.

A record number of 93 took part in this August’s NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week, which ran from Monday August 8th to Sunday August 14th.

Modelled on a scheme that operates in New York city, NE1’s Newcastle Restaurant Week has grown in stature and popularity since its launch five years ago.  Devised by business improvement district company, NE1 Ltd, in collaboration with some of Newcastle’s leading restaurants, the idea was to support the restaurant community at traditionally quite times of the year. The event has achieved what it set out to do and is now firmly established in the city’s event calendar with weeks in both January and August, cementing Newcastle’s position as the culinary capital of North-East England.

The key to its success is the simplicity of the offer, which is easy for restaurants to operate and provides a simple proposition for customers with a fixed price menu of either £10 or £15 per person for only two weeks of the year.

Each season more new restaurants come on board and existing restaurants continue to attract new custom.

This August, participating restaurants enjoyed record customer numbers and boosts to business with some restaurants experiencing year on year increases of over 180%.

New to Newcastle and a newcomer to NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week, Turtle Bay restaurant enjoyed its first Restaurant Week this August with record numbers of diners, with nearly 3,000 covers welcomed during the week.  The Caribbean restaurant housed in the old Co-op building near the Gate only opened in February this year.

Dee Manzini, Turtle Bay Assistant Manager said:

“We were delighted with our first NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week – the restaurant has never been so busy.  It was a great way for new diners to experience the Caribbean flavor of Turtle Bay and hopefully become regular customers all year round.”

Stephen Patterson, Director of Communications at NE1 Ltd said:

“2016 has been a great year for the restaurant industry in Newcastle with a cluster of new venues opening across the city. Newcastle’s restaurant community is one of the city’s largest growth sectors and NE1 is delighted to be able to support it through initiatives like Restaurant Week, which adds another dimension to the city centre offer.”

“Restaurant Week delivers a welcome boost to business and creates another great reason for people to visit Newcastle.”

NE1 launches free Screen on the Green outdoor cinema

By | News

Film Fans are in for a treat this summer as a series of free outdoor movie screenings kicks off on Monday at Old Eldon Square.

NE1, Newcastle’s Business Improvement District, is hosting Screen on the Green, showcasing a choice of family favourites throughout the summer holidays, as well as screening live coverage of the Rio Olympics.

The organisation has run the popular Monument Movies at Greys Monument for the past five years and is now relocating the event to Old Eldon Square, and renaming as Screen on the Green.

Not only is the number films being shown this year increasing, but the move will give more people the chance to view as well as improving the audience experience.

NE1 Operations Manager Tariq Albassam said: “We’re delighted to be continuing our popular free summer movies event at Old Eldon Square. Monument Movies was so in demand, we found we had people sitting on the pavement.

“We now have far more space for deck chairs at Old Eldon Square and filmgoers can spill out onto the grass too or bring their own seats and picnic.”

While screenings at Monument were three days a week, films will be shown at Screen on the Green every day for the full six weeks of the school holidays.

Also, for the first time, movies will also be shown at the Vueling Quayside Seaside every Thursday.

For the full schedule go to: