Challenging Newcastle's boozey weekend image
A NEW bid to change the image of Newcastle city centre from a party city for young revellers into a sophisticated shopping and cultural centre is about to be launched.
Traders across the city are funding a new marketing campaign through Newcastle NE1, a company set up to run a business improvement district which hopes to bring more business to the region’s capital.
The campaign is the largest investment yet from NE1 which was launched in April and has so far introduced new street cleaners, uniformed street rangers and is turning empty shops into temporary art galleries.
An advertising campaign is being launched next Tuesday at the Tyneside Cinema and will feature areas such as Grey Street and High Bridge Street in order to project an image of the city centre as more than just a place for weekend revellers, stag parties and football fans.
It will also publicise new website www.get-into-newcastle.co.uk which will benefit businesses directly by providing shoppers with a range of offers to tempt them back on to the high street.
Stephen Patterson, commercial manager at Newcastle NE1, said: “As the region’s capital, Newcastle has so much to shout about. With award- winning architecture, world class cultural venues, diverse shopping and vibrant nightlife, it is an experience that is unsurpassed in the region.
“From the big stars of the city that we all know and love to the hidden gems that make this ‘your Newcastle’ the campaign will introduce people to the city’s wider offer, allowing them to discover the fantastic experiences available on their doorstep.
“We see areas such Grey Street as the Regent Street of the North East and locations such as High Bridge Street as the Covent Garden.”
NE1 plan to launch a number of additional projects over the coming months, including a series of small-scale green spaces known as ‘pocket parks’ and has already singled out Victoria Square and the Guild Hall area of Quayside as possible locations.
It has also come up with a solution to the problem of empty stores on the high street and is in talks with a number of firms to let out the sites to community and arts-based projects, which benefit from business rates relief.
It has already worked with the Globe Gallery in Newcastle, which will stage an exhibition at the unused Boots unit in Monument Mall over the coming months.
The advertising campaign, which NE1 hopes to take nationwide, has already struck a chord with businesses in the city centre who are keen to present an alternative image.
Tom Caulker, owner of popular Newcastle nightclub World Headquarters, said: “I think it’s a fantastic idea. We need to make people aware of the massive amount of choice that the city centre has to offer, from its shops and restaurants to its world-beating tourist attractions. It’s more diverse than people realise and is certainly not all about the Toon and Brown Ale.”
Newcastle city centre became the UK’s 90th BID last November after firms elected to pay an extra tax to fund improvements to their trading environment.
Last Updated (Wednesday, 16 September 2009 10:38)