Being bold and ambitious pays off for NE1 LTD in Newcastle
Businesses in Newcastle have voted resoundingly in favour of granting NE1 Ltd, the business improvement district company for Newcastle city centre, a third, five-year business term with businesses voting 88% in favour of NE1 continuing. NE1’s fresh term will run from 1 April 2019 until 31 March 2024.
The ballot was record breaking with 904 ballots cast, 8% up on NE1’s previous record set in 2013. The record turnout and positive ballots cast also makes NE1 the most strongly supported BID in the United Kingdom.
The vote opened at 9am on 20 September and closed at 5pm on Thursday 18 October with the result declared at 11am on Friday 19 October.
All 1,400 of NE1’s businesses were balloted as part of the BID renewal. The positive ballot unlocks in the region of £10m of investment from the city’s businesses over the next five years.
The money raised will be channelled into the continuation of projects that are crucial to the future economic growth of the city including Alive after Five, the Bigg Market Regeneration Project, NE1 Street Rangers and an exciting programme of events in the city centre.
Extensive consultation was carried out by NE1 with its business members prior to the vote, which was essential in shaping NE1’s programme for the next BID term and resulted in a clear set of business priorities.
These priorities for the next term will see a renewed focus and further investment in the city centre focusing on key areas including Newcastle’s Retail Core, Newcastle Quayside and the city’s Historic Core.
Another key priority for NE1 will be making greening an essential element in all physical projects to create a better environment for NE1’s businesses and an improved experience for customers.
Improving connectivity in the city both from a digital perspective, focusing on the city’s digital infrastructure, and also on its transport links locally, nationally and internationally will form another key strand of NE1’s work over the next five years.
Continuing to raise the profile of Newcastle at a regional, national and international level will continue to be a focus for NE1 in its work and its collaboration with business partners.
Over its previous two BID terms, NE1 has achieved:
- Major capital investment projects including Central Station Gateway Project, NE1 Newcastle City Marina and the Bigg Market Regeneration Project
- Working with city partners, secured an additional £31.9 million of investment in the city centre
- Launched Alive after Five which has delivered an estimated £839 million boost to the local early evening economy – with an additional 13.7 million visitors increasing city centre footfall by 16%
- Developed a commercially focused annual events programme including Newcastle Restaurant Week, the Newcastle Motor Show, Screen on the Green and the summertime interventions on Blackett and Northumberland Streets this summer. Collectively these events delivered by, or supported by NE1 attract 340,000 visitors per annum, delivering in the region of £19 million of economic impact for the city annually
Adrian Waddell, Chief Executive of NE1 Ltd said:
“With the ‘Yes’ vote achieved today we are delighted that businesses have used their collective voice to endorse NE1’s efforts and achievements and to support our plans for the coming five-year term. This is an exciting time for the city and the city region. These results give us a powerful mandate to go on delivering for Newcastle, as set out in our business plan. It means a great deal to us to have received such resounding support from the city’s business community. NE1 was established in 2009 to provide a strong voice for businesses and the ability for them to invest collectively in the city centre.
“Over the past ten years elements of our work have become more strategic, focusing on longer term, bold and ambitious projects that have had a transformational effect on the city. We will continue this approach alongside championing the shorter term, day to day, issues affecting our members, which are so important to them and to the city, including continued support for our highly valued Street Rangers and Clean Team.
“The result today is a vote for making things happen in Newcastle. It’s also an endorsement of the effectiveness of the ‘team’ approach that’s invariably needed to get bigger projects underway. Our city’s businesses, universities and college, local authority and hospital all have roles to play and we’re really looking forward to our ongoing work with them over the next 5 years.
“Our task now is to return with interest the trust and confidence businesses have shown in us. We’ve a brilliant team at NE1 – experienced, very conscientious and who live and breathe Newcastle. We’re all really looking forward to the challenges and opportunities this new term will bring.”
Adam Serfontein, Chairman of NE1 said:
"NE1 has delivered for Newcastle over its previous two BID terms, a fact that has been recognised today with a resounding ‘Yes’ vote and a further 5-year term. NE1's impact over the past ten years has been considerable, securing much needed investment, transforming areas of the city in the process and creating an annual events programme that attracts 340,000 people per annum. NE1's plans for the next five years are equally as bold and ambitious.
It is particularly encouraging to have achieved a record number of ballots cast in the renewal vote and is testament to the extensive consultation between NE1 and its members over the past year.
It is important to thank our businesses for their continued support and also key partners such as Newcastle City Council, both of which are hugely important in both shaping and delivering NE1's programme.
With the vote secured, the team can now press ahead with their existing projects and start mapping out their ambitious plans for the future. Exciting times lie ahead."
Nick Forbes, Leader, Newcastle City Council said:
"NE1 has become a much valued delivery partner for our ambitious plans for the city - this strong result recognises the significant achievements to date and highlights business' confidence in the future of the city. The result demonstrates a growing sense of optimism and what we can collectively achieve by working together with a shared vision for the city and the wider region. There is still a great deal to be done and I am delighted that businesses have given NE1 the 'yes vote' which provides a strong foundation for the city council, business and wider partners to push on and deliver on our ambitious plans, we look forward to working with NE1 over the next five years".
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