Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Do Not Go Away

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Do Not Go Away

Article excerpt

You won't want to miss the superb festivals and events planned in 2005. The Newcastle Gateshead Initiative sets the scene for the year ahead.

In recent years, much has been said about the renaissance of Newcastle-Gateshead. Increasingly, national and international attention has been focused on the city as it has begun to transform itself into a post-industrial, cultural force to be reckoned with.

Newcastle-Gateshead has been investing in arts and culture for nearly two decades. Through culture we believe we can recover from the social and economic problems caused by our heavy dependence on disappearing heavy industries.

Through culture we can create a thriving tourism industry, we can find ways to bring people and communities together and we can turn the international spotlight on our part of the world, changing people's preconceived perceptions about the area forever.

In October 2003, Newcastle Gateshead Initiative (NGI), the destination marketing agency for the area, launched culture A, a programme of ideas, innovation, investment and promotion, designed to deliver a decade of world-class events.

Each year the programme will focus on different themes - profiling the best the North East has to offer.

Supported by Gateshead Council, Newcastle City Council, One North East, Arts Council England, North East, Northern Rock Foundation and The Millennium Commission, culture A has already attracted over pounds 57m in funding.

It is hoped the programme will attract 4m new visitors to the region by the end of the decade, generating pounds 1.2bn for the local economy and creating some 24,000 jobs for local people.

Each culture A year has a unique identity. Hotbed 2004, the first year of culture A celebrated the very best the North East has to offer in design, gardens and fashion. The year was extremely successful with a wide range of events and activities taking place across the region. …

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