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Our Update

Marine and offshore sector showcase

RWCOur inward investment team helped shine the spotlight on the region’s booming oil and gas industry, welcoming a delegation of inward investment specialists from global offshore hubs here in June.

The Oil and Gas Briefing tour - organised by our inward investment team and Tees Valley Unlimited on behalf of Invest North East England and UKTI (UK Trade & Investment) – helped to spread the message that our region is the place to be for international companies looking for a UK base. The visit was secured after bidding against other UK cities to host the group – which included representatives from Australia, Brazil, Canada, USA and Norway.

Local engineering specialists supported the tour and played a key role in demonstrating the area’s key strengths in offshore and marine industries – particularly in oil and gas, which employs around 65,000 people in the region and is responsible for the build of more than 70% of the oil and gas platforms operating in the North Sea.

Catherine Walker, Inward Investment Director at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “The marine and offshore sector is a key focus of our regional inward investment activity. It’s an area where there’s maximum market potential globally and where we have academic excellence with available talent. Our universities and colleges are world leaders in research and development, widely recognised as providers of the UK’s strongest graduates in marine and offshore disciplines.

“We have an attractive offer for potential investors and bringing investment specialists to the region - who work with investment-ready businesses on a daily basis - to experience it first-hand is helping us to raise awareness internationally of the opportunities available for businesses to grow and prosper here.”

Stewart Watkins, Investment Gateway Manager at Invest North East England, added: “The North East’s extensive involvement in the North Sea oil and gas industry has earned us a global reputation for innovation. The vast range of specialist oil and gas industry capabilities available here mean that we’re well placed to fulfil even the most demanding and challenging North Sea projects.

“We’re delighted at the opportunity to showcase the region to international investment specialists and spread the message that the North East is ripe for investment.”

Neil Kenley, Director of Business Investment at Tees Valley Unlimited, said: “With a rich industrial heritage, Tees Valley has a long track record of delivering large scale projects in oil and gas, fabrication and decommissioning.

“Our port facilities, fantastic infrastructure and logistics and a ready skilled workforce the Tees Valley mean the area is well placed to offer companies looking to invest in the UK an ideal base.”

The visit also included tours of GE Wellstream – a leading engineer and manufacturer of high-quality, flexible pipeline products for oil and gas transportation – and Shepherd Offshore, a leading provider of responsible regeneration and providers of bespoke manufacturing, R&D and training facilities for global offshore and marine organisations.

Roy Kristiansen, Senior Market Adviser at UKTI said: “The event has been very interesting. I’m particularly impressed with the level of investment and dedication to improving the infrastructure across the industry. The companies here clearly have strong affinity with the area, demonstrating a real commitment to staying here and growing their businesses.”

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Juice Festival joins Arts Council’s National Portfolio

Juice Festival

Juice, our award-winning festival for children and young people, is one of just 46 organisations nationally that has joined the Arts Council England portfolio, with funding worth £300k secured over the next three years.

Carol Bell, Head of Culture & Major Events at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “We are delighted to have secured NPO status for Juice Festival, NewcastleGateshead’s festival for children and young people. Juice’s vision is to be the leading children and young people’s arts and cultural festival in the UK and Europe. NPO status will enable us to continue to pursue this ambition and to really establish Juice as a festival of national and international significance, building on the great work delivered over the past seven years.

“At a time of reduced public funding for the arts, this announcement demonstrates Arts Council England’s confidence in both the festival’s track record and its future potential – potential which is all the greater as a result of the NPO award. Having this three year support allows us to plan more effectively and develop work over a longer period of time. It also provides confidence to other potential funders, supporters and collaborators.

“The festival’s success to date is undoubtedly thanks to the commitment and support of a wide range of partners, including NGCV, as well as the expertise and dedication of Rachel Adam and Claire Newton, the creative team who really shaped Juice from the outset. Thank you to all.

“We’re very much looking forward to Juice 2014, which is being developed with award-winning author David Almond as Artistic Advisor – and we can now also start to plan for ambitious new work and projects for the years ahead.”

The National Portfolio funding programme officially launched on 1 April 2012 providing funding for a national portfolio of 696 organisations. A new National portfolio of 670 arts organisations (NPOs) and 21 Major Partner Museums (MPMs) was confirmed on 1 July 2014. 46 arts organisations will join the portfolio and 58 leave. Five new museums are added to the portfolio ensuring a wider geographic spread.

Juice is a high quality multi-artform festival creating work with, by and for children, young people and their families that has successfully delivered for seven years across NewcastleGateshead. Juice has built a reputation as a leading festival in the region and is a key player in the national network of children and young people’s festivals

The festival has a track record of boldly co-presenting ambitious projects such as Haircuts by Children with Wunderbar Festival and Mamalian Diving Reflex and Beastie by Lone Twin. For 2014 award winning author David Almond has agreed to be our Artistic Advisor.

Juice is led by Newcastle Gateshead Initiative, however its key strength is its approach to partnership working with NewcastleGateshead Cultural Venues (NGCV) and other cultural partners.

Juice Festival 2014 will take place from Friday 24 October – Sunday 2 November:

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Radio campaign targets cultural city breakers

Radio campaign targets cultural city breakers
Working with national travel journalist James Ellis and radio broadcast specialists Markettiers4DC, we commissioned and used new research into city break habits to deliver a targeted radio campaign highlighting the breadth of cultural experiences on offer in NewcastleGateshead.

The new research revealed that cultural tourism is strong with half the nation cramming more cultural activity into a city break weekend away than they do when at home.

Almost half of those surveyed (47%) said they take part in ‘culture cramming’ when on a city-break, relishing high-intensity visits to local galleries, museums, festivals and events. In fact, the average city-breaker crammed more than a third (34%) of their entire annual ‘cultural intake’ into their last weekend away.

The study results were used as the news hook for the campaign and provided rich discussion content for travel journalist James, providing a platform to promote NewcastleGateshead as a destination with a growing reputation for its cultural assets.

Highlights of the radio campaign results include:

  • An audience of more 1.38m people reached.
  • Coverage on 25 radio stations concentrated in our target geographical areas of Scotland, Yorkshire and the North West.
  • More than 1hour 15 minutes of airtime, worth an estimated £18k in AVE.

Speaking about the findings of the study, Carol Bell, Head of Culture and Major events at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “This survey provides some fantastic insight for cultural venues and attractions. Whilst local audiences will always be core to the ongoing success of museums, galleries, festivals and events – cultural tourists are an audience of growing potential. It’s important that destinations not only recognise this, but work in partnership with venues to provide immersive quality experiences for visitors that inspire them to tell their friends and visit again.”

The trend is particularly popular with younger travellers, with 41% of 18-24 year olds saying culture is a priority for them when visiting a new city and almost half (45%) of 25-34 year olds agreeing with this also, compared to a third of over 55’s.

Londoners came out top among the UK’s most avid cultural tourists, with 53.6% saying they ‘culture cram’ closely followed by those from the North East (53%), East Anglia (50.9%), Northern Ireland and Yorkshire (both 50%).

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North East venues stand united to attract more conferences

Convention Bureau NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau joined forces with six of the region’s premier conference venues to showcase what the area has to offer conference organisers at Meetings Show UK (8-10 July 2014).

NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau was joined by exhibition stand partners Sage Gateshead, Newcastle United (Sodexo), Hilton Newcastle Gateshead, Sunderland Association Football Club, Unispace, University of Sunderland and Rockliffe Hall for the three-day event held at Olympia in London.

The event provided an excellent opportunity to showcase the North East’s exceptional conference and events offer at the UK’s largest gathering of UK and international meetings and events professionals, with over 700 buyers and nearly 500 exhibitors attending.

Paul Szomoru, Head of Business Tourism at NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, said: “Meetings Show UK is one of the most important dates in the conference industry’s diary. It provides an unrivalled opportunity to meet with buyers who are genuinely looking to place conference business with destinations. The Convention Bureau and our stand partners had a successful show and we’re looking forward to bringing even more business visitors to the region.

“It was also a great opportunity to demonstrate NewcastleGateshead Initiative’s commitment to working in partnership with organisations across the area to promote the destination. We were joined by two students from Newcastle College who helped us the man the exhibition stand, providing them with first-hand experience of running a high-profile exhibition to support their studies on the Level 4 Hospitality Management course. They did an outstanding job at managing the event operations and we’re looking forward to continuing to involve students from the college in our future events and exhibitions activity.”

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