To provide you with the best experience on this website, cookies are used. By using the site it's assumed that you're happy with our use of cookies. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. More info on cookies.
Allow cookies

Our Update

Business tourism supports economic growth

Latest figures released by NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau show that the area’s business tourism industry is thriving. In 2013, the destination hosted 15,000 conferences and meetings which attracted around 1 million delegates who contributed £104m to the local economy (an increase of 13% from 2011).

Paul Szomoru, Head of Business Tourism at NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, said: “Business tourism plays an important role in the economic growth of NewcastleGateshead, generating an annual GVA impact of £77m. Our work to bring high-quality conferences and events here not only delivers direct economic impact but also showcases the destination to business visitors who become influential advocates for the place - and our leisure visitors of the future.”

Business tourism is just one part of our overall visitor economy, which is worth £1.3 billion annually according to the latest data from the Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Model (STEAM). NewcastleGateshead attracted 1.9 million overnight visitors who spent a total of £4.2m during their stay. The visitor economy is the 4th largest in the North East, supporting more than 19,000 jobs in NewcastleGateshead in 2013 (representing a 1% increase from 2012).

Sarah Stewart, Chief Executive at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, commented: “These encouraging results highlight that tourism is a vital part of the economy, bringing in money, more jobs and raising NewcastleGateshead’s profile. It also demonstrates that the high-quality and diverse offer of hotels, conference venues and visitor attractions, as well as a year-round programme of festivals and events, continue to be key to driving economic benefit for the area.”

Business Tourism in NewcastleGateshead

  • 14,700 conferences and meetings held in venues across NewcastleGateshead in 2013, up by 14% on 2011.
  • 939,000 delegates were in attendance at these events, a growth of 23%.
  • These visitors spent 1.4 million days in NewcastleGateshead and contributed £104m to the economy of the city, up by 13%.
  • The conference and meetings industry supports 1,680 FTE jobs (2500 employees). If we include those whose positions are indirectly supported by meetings and events this rises to 3,300.
  • The GVA of the meetings and conferences sector is £77m compared to £69m in 2011.
  • The corporate sector is responsible for 48% of all delegates and half of all expenditure.
  • 73% of delegates are from within the North East; however 49% of all expenditure comes from visitors from other regions of the UK or those travelling from overseas.
  • 59% of all events in the city are held in hotels with 33% in ‘unusual’ venues (Sage Gateshead and BALTIC having a key influence here).

 Back to top >

Investment potential showcased

Juice Festival

Ambitions for the growth and development of NewcastleGateshead were the focus of a visit by potential national and international investors this month. Organised by our Inward Investment team, the two-day trip showcased the area’s strategic investment and employment sites.

Ambitions for the growth and development of NewcastleGateshead were the focus of a visit by potential national and international investors this month. Organised by our Inward Investment team, the two-day trip showcased the area’s strategic investment and employment sites.

The group of investors, developers and commercial property consultants experienced our business-friendly place firsthand, met influential business leaders, visited the area’s sites that are ripe for development and experienced our warm Geordie welcome at a VIP reception at the Great North Run Millionth Finisher event.

The visit was organised by our team, Invest NewcastleGateshead, who provide a dedicated inward investment service in partnership with Gateshead Council and Newcastle City Council. It marked the beginning of a campaign to kick-start the promotion of the destination’s four Accelerated Development Zones and get the message out that NewcastleGateshead is open for business.

Pat Ritchie, chief executive at Newcastle City Council, said: “NewcastleGateshead is a place that’s geared up to meet the needs of the modern economy and offers investors low risk but high value investment opportunities. We have real ambitions to grow and develop our vibrant city and this event provided an excellent opportunity to meet with investors and show them the people, places, nightlife and cultural offer - all of the things that make it a great place to live, work and invest.”

Khawar Ali Co founder of AdvisoryKONNECT a leading advisory firm specialising in the growth of global sourcing firms said: “Newcastle is completely ready for business, with cutting edge infrastructure to compete with other European business cities, an education system that can deliver relevant skills for all industry sectors, and a local government ready to support enterprises coming into the area. I am truly impressed with what Newcastle and Gateshead have to offer the business world and would highly recommend enterprises to consider the city as a destination for business in the UK.”

Back to top >

Shortlisted for success

Over the past few weeks we’ve been shortlisted for a number of prestigious national and regional awards, in recognition of our work to market NewcastleGateshead - including the CIPR Pride Awards 2014 and the Meetings Industry Marketing Awards 2014.

Our PR team has been shortlisted in both Outstanding In-House Team of the Year and Low Budget Campaign categories for the CIPR PRide Awards.

The PRide Awards recognise and reward the inspirational work of leading public relations teams and consultancies in nine UK regions and nations. From top freelancers to rising stars, and small agencies to corporate communication teams, the PRide Awards celebrate the best talent that PR has to offer.

The North East PRide Awards Dinner will take place on 5 December, at which the winners will be announced.

The NewcastleGateshead Meetings and Events Guide has been shortlisted for Best Brochure in the highly acclaimed Meetings Industry Marketing Awards 2014.

The guide – which is the North East’s only brochure targeting UK and international event organisers to inspire them to choose the region for their events - has already achieved MIMA success having scooped the Gold Award for Best Brochure in 2010 and 2012.

The publication has been shortlisted in the 2014 awards alongside Liverpool Convention Bureau, London & Partners and Kent Conference Bureau.

Paul Szomoru, head of business tourism at NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, said: “The guide aims to show what makes NewcastleGateshead different while also highlighting that it has the infrastructure expected of a leading conference destination.

“Rather than just refreshing previous editions, we set out to develop an exciting new creative style which integrates with our ‘experiences delegates love’ marketing campaign. Eye-catching illustrations were used on the cover, introductory section and section dividers. We also adapted the tone of voice throughout to convey the warm and friendly Geordie personality.”

The Meetings Industry Marketing Awards (MIMA) was launched in 2002 to raise the standards of marketing in the meetings and events industry and to recognise the marketeers. Organised by Meetings & Incentive Travel magazine, the 13th presentation banquet dinner will take place on 20th October 2014, at the Lancaster London.

Back to top >

Juice tickets now on sale

Convention BureauTickets for Juice, our award-winning festival for children, young people and their families during October half-term, are now on sale. This year’s festival, sponsored by the Port of Tyne, has been created with artistic input from acclaimed author David Almond.

Juice takes place from Friday 24 October - Sunday 2 November 2014. To buy tickets or to see full details of all the events taking place, please visit; follow Juice Festival on twitter @JuiceFestival or like the Facebook Page,

The programme features work created and performed by children and young people, as well as work by regional, national and international artists. David Almond has played a key role in shaping this year’s festival, which includes a series of special events inspired by some of his most popular books.

Juice Festival is once again being sponsored by the Port of Tyne as part of its commitment to enhancing opportunities for young people.

Five Ring Circus, a regional youth circus from the North East, will be presenting their own interpretation of David’s book, The Boy who Swam with Piranhas. Taking place at Discovery Museum, Newcastle, The Fantastic Fairground of Fishy Feats (Wed 29 & Thu 30 October) uses the themes and characters from The Boy who Swam with Piranhas to create a brand new piece of circus theatre. The costumes, choreography and story have been created and developed by young people.

Théâtre Sans Frontières, one of the region’s leading theatre companies, will be performing a brand new play based on David’s popular book, Heaven Eyes (Tues 28 & Wed 29 October). David Almond himself has been involved in the adaptation of the story which tells the tale of three children who flee an orphanage, down the River Tyne, only to be rescued by a strange girl with webbed hands and feet named Heaven Eyes. This is the first time a stage version of this book has been performed.

Other events at Juice Festival inspired by David Almond and his work include The Big Juice Read at Newcastle City Library and Gateshead Central Library (Tues 28 October). Young performers and designers will help bring to life The Boy who Swam with Piranhas in two activity-filled events celebrating the book.

David Almond himself will perform readings from some of his books in a special event at St Mary’s Heritage Centre, Gateshead (Fri 31 October). The reading will also include a sneak preview of some of David’s latest writing.

A team of young writers from New Writing North will premiere a poetry film based on David’s writing about the River Tyne. Journeys Down the Tyne will explore the weird and wonderful themes from David’s books and what lurks deep down inside the Tyne.

In addition to events inspired by the festival’s new artistic advisor, Juice Festival also presents performances, workshops and events designed and delivered by children and young people. Northern Stage’s First In 3 (Wed 29 October) sees a special evening of young people’s theatre and arts at Northern Stage, organised by a team of young curators.

Just Jam (Sat 1 & Sun 2 November) returns for its seventh year as Dance City and Bad Taste Cru host another action-packed weekend of hip-hop culture and breakdance featuring some of the world’s greatest B-Boys and B-Girls. Budding dancers can learn everything from House to Poppin’ & Lockin’ at a series of masterclasses and workshops. Those preferring just to watch the action can enjoy two stand-out performances from some of the greatest B-Boy and B-Girl talent in the world. Jam & Juice is a showcase of hip hop dance theatre and the Just Jam International One on One Battle pits some of the world’s best dancers against each other in an epic all day dance battle.

He’s one of the biggest names in street art and he’s heading to Juice Festival to show off his skills at Art Jam (Sat 25 October). Inkie, aka Tom Bingle, is viewed by many as one the pioneers of street art, along with fellow Bristolians Banksy and 3D. Inkie will be working with young people during Juice Festival’s Art Jam event at the CoMusica arches behind Sage Gateshead. This free event is a rare opportunity to get up close and personal with one of the world’s greatest street artists.

Behind the scenes at this year’s Juice Festival - in addition to the core delivery team at NewcastleGateshead Initiative - is a group of young people that have helped curate, develop and produce various aspects of the ten day festival. Team Juice has created special opportunities and experiences for children and young people and its group of young writers has worked with local media outlets to help spread the word about the festival.

 Back to top >