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Industry News

2014 Tourism Awards launched

Applications are now open for the North East England Tourism Awards 2014, providing an opportunity for tourism businesses across the region to celebrate their success and showcase excellence in the sector.

Speaking at the launch event last month, Louise Stewart, Director of Strategy and Development at VisitEngland said: “The North East England Tourism Awards provide a great opportunity for businesses to celebrate their success and to have their achievements acknowledged. The sector is an important part of the economy of North East England supporting 54,000 jobs. The awards provide a platform to remind everyone that the tourism industry is a key part of the continued success of the region.

“Furthermore, they give winners the chance to promote the many outstanding experiences they offer, and for those who go on to compete nationally at VisitEngland’s Excellence Awards, the opportunity to elevate this on the national stage.”

This year’s awards, which are organised and delivered by NewcastleGateshead Initiative in partnership with the Northern Tourism Alliance and local authorities across the region, will take place on 11 November 2014 at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light.

Sarah Stewart, Chief Executive at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved as a region in working together to deliver the North East England Tourism Awards. It’s testament to our commitment as an industry that we’re able to once again showcase and celebrate tourism by working with our colleagues in Durham, Northumberland and wider Tyne & Wear to judge and promote the Awards.

“With Rugby World Cup 2015 matches taking place at St James’ Park next year, now is the time for us to really celebrate what we have to offer in the North East and ensure the thousands of international rugby fans destined for England have a compelling reason to spend time here before and after matches.

“I am delighted too, that this year the awards will take place at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light, which itself is a visitor hotspot, not just in attracting football fans but also music fans with their successful programme of concerts.”

Gary Hutchinson, Commercial Director at Sunderland AFC and 1879 Events Management, said: “Sunderland AFC and 1879 Events Management is honoured to host the North East England Tourism Awards 2014 at the Stadium of Light. As a venue we welcome thousands of outside visitors every year and understand the importance of tourism to our regional economy.

“Through 1879 we work on a wide range of events which boost tourism across the North East including our operations at the National Glass Centre, various business dinners, Sound Waves music festival and leading LGBT festival Newcastle Pride to mention just a few.

“Hosting the awards is an absolute privilege but also a perfect match. As one of the North East’s most iconic venues, the Stadium of Light has had a huge impact on tourism in the region in recent years and we look forward to welcoming the region’s most innovative businesses to our venue in November.”

Seven North East businesses went on to see success nationally following the 2013 Awards, including St Cuthbert’s House (Bed & Breakfast of the Year) and Seafield Caravan Park (Caravan Holiday Park of the Year), both in Seahouses who both won Gold at the VisitEngland Excellence Awards 2014.

More information on the North East England Tourism Awards can be found at

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United front for business festival

Our Inward Investment Team has co-ordinated a regional showcase for the seven North East authorities, and the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, at Made in the UK - a key event at IFB, the UK’s international business festival.

Members of the North East Combined Authority (NECA) - made up of Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Sunderland councils – are uniting with the North East LEP to provide a single gateway for investors looking to work with the region – Invest North East England - and will be presenting the North East’s offer at the International Festival for Business (IFB) in Liverpool.

Invest North East England will make it easier for developers and enterprises interested in setting up in the area to get the support they need to do business here. Providing a one-stop-shop for inward investment in the North East, the service will allow the seven local authorities to present one shared image of the region, playing to the area’s strengths in manufacturing and engineering; life sciences and healthcare; software and technology; subsea oil and gas, new and renewable energy; and professional, financial and business services. The authorities will attend the IFB on July 21 and 22, showcasing the region at Made in the UK, a series of conferences that focus on the manufacturing sector with anticipated attendance by developers and senior business people from the UK and overseas.

The International Festival for Business is the largest global concentration of business events during 2014, and is running over 50 days across seven weeks in June and July. The event will attract business delegates and trade intermediaries from around the world and is a key part of the government's target of rebalancing the economy and achieving its export and investment objectives. As well as attending this event, the authorities will come together again to attend MIPIM UK, a real estate and property show that will be held in London in October.

Chair of the North East Combined Authority, Councillor Simon Henig, said the event represented a significant step forward for the combined authority, and was a clear statement of the seven local authorities’ strengthening partnership.

He said: “We believe strongly that the sum of what we offer is greater than the parts, and attending this event together is a real statement of intent for us. It is about showing the world what we have to offer in the North East, with one shared voice and a set of common strengths.

“The event is likely to be very well attended from people across the country and indeed, from overseas, so it is a great chance to showcase our region and start conversations with people who are looking for a place to do business.”

Cllr Paul Watson, Economic Development and Regeneration lead at the combined authority, said: “This is an excellent opportunity for us to make our case for the North East and what we have to offer as a region to potential investors. The North East has all of the assets and attributes to make a compelling case to investors and organisations looking to expand their business here.

“The attendance of the North East Combined Authority at an event like the International Festival for Business provides an opportunity to clearly articulate our offer to a national and international audience, and I am sure we will all benefit greatly from being part of this event.”

Paul Woolston Chair of the North East LEP said: "The North East has a great story to tell - alongside an excellent workforce and blossoming private sector, we have record levels of productivity growth, employment and economic growth as well as being the only region to have a consistent positive trade balance. The IFB is a great opportunity to showcase this to investors. By coming together to exhibit as Invest North East we present a strong and unified voice for the area and it is an example of how the North East is working in partnership to bring investment to the area."

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£290m Growth Deal for the North East

The North East Local Enterprise Partnership has secured £290m investment which will create thousands of new jobs for the North East, as part of the government’s Growth Deal.

The investment provides the North East with a significant funding to take forward its plans for economic growth.

The substantial investment which will create over 4,000 new jobs and deliver £90m in additional public and private sector funding, is clear recognition from government of the North East’s ability to work in partnership and achieve its ambitious plans.

The £290m, which is the third highest allocation in the country, will support projects that were set out in the LEP’s North East Strategic Economic Plan ‘More and Better Jobs’. The plan, which builds on from Lord Adonis’s North East Independent Economic Review and was developed with local partners and businesses, provides a comprehensive plan to create sustainable and inclusive growth for the North East.

The North East’s Growth Deal will provide funding for each of the themes within the economic plan investing in projects around innovation, skills, business support, transport, developing economic assets and supporting inclusive growth.

On top of the investment the deal also includes a commitment from government to work with the enterprise partnership to bring forward plans around improving educational attainment and developing a new development and infrastructure fund for the North East.

The key features of the Growth Deal for the North East LEP are:

More jobs:
Investment in economic assets and transport: Funding for a comprehensive package of investment to ensure the North East has the infrastructure and facilities to support inward investment and regional growth. For example allowing companies involved in supplying Hitachi Rail Europe to locate close to its new facilities at Merchant Park, and a project to create rural ‘enterprise hubs’ proving flexible workspace for small businesses.

Better jobs:
Investment in innovation: Funding for a number of projects to support technological advances in key industries, helping the North East achieve its innovation vision and become an exemplar in Smart Specialisation and open innovation. For example, Sunderland Enterprise and Innovation Hub, which will provide the first ‘Fab Lab’ in the North East.

Investment Skills:
Funding and commitment to support improving educational attainment and training available to local people in skills which are important for growing sectors including advanced manufacturing, offshore wind and low carbon energy technologies.

Paul Woolston, Chair of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership said:

“Our economic plan ‘more and better jobs’ set an ambitious vision for the North East, to transform the economy and create more and better jobs. We are delighted that government is supporting our proposals with such a significant investment.

“Our £290m Growth Deal endorses our approach providing investment for innovation, skills, business support, transport, developing our economic assets and supporting inclusive growth. It also sets out a clear commitment to work closely with the enterprise partnership to bring forward proposals around improving educational attainment and a new development and investment fund.

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