Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Roman Soldiers Will Help Economy; Re-Enactment Part of Cultural Extravaganza

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Roman Soldiers Will Help Economy; Re-Enactment Part of Cultural Extravaganza

Article excerpt

Byline: Sam Wonfor

ACULTURAL programme for the year ahead will give the North East economy a boost to the tune of almost pounds 30m.

Yesterday saw the launch of culture10's impressive - and extremely full - calendar of happenings for 2009 which will attract one million visitors, from both I nside and outside the region.

Roman re-enactments, a shipyard spectacular and illuminated icons will all feature.

Themed around the North East's rich landscape and heritage, the programme provides much to be excited about - not least the mass re-enactment along Hadrian's Wall (which will also be garrisoned for the first time in 1,600 years) and a large-scale theatrical extravaganza at the A&P shipyards in Hebburn.

The return of annual events like EAT!

Newcastle Gateshead and the Juice, Evolution, Durham Brass and Winter Festivals will also offer lots to smile (and sometimes even dance) about.

But perhaps more importantly in the current economic climate, the visitors the events attract will bring in an estimated pounds 28.2m to the North East economy.

Stella Hall, creative director of culture10 said: "Building on the growing cultural reputation of NewcastleGateshead and North East England each year, 2009 promises to put us firmly in the spotlight as a creative and vibrant place to be.

"The culture10 programme has a key role to play in the tourism economy of North East England.

"It is designed to add value to the existing visitor offer and extend its range and appeal by providing a variety of events that attract new visitors to the region, encourage longer than average stays, increase visitor expenditure and extend the visitor season outside the traditional summer period."

Leader of Newcastle Council, John Shipley added: "We all know that we are in for a difficult time, but one of unexpected consequences is that there will be more tourism in the UK - and this programme perfectly demonstrates so much of what the region has to offer. …

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