Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

It's High Fives for City's Alive after Five Initiative

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

It's High Fives for City's Alive after Five Initiative

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Keighley Business writer tom.keighley@ncjmedia.co.uk

Newcastle city centre is busy in the evenings thanks to the Alive After Five initiative, which is now celebrating its fifth birthday Newcastle city centre is busy in the evenings thanks to the Alive After Five initiative, which is now celebrating its fifth birthday THE BOSS of NE1 Ltd has vowed to continue the growth of Newcastle's flagship city centre initiative Alive After Five, five years on from its creation.

The extended shopping hours, free car parking and events idea celebrates its fifth anniversary this month as it is estimated to have brought an extra PS591m to the city centre economy.

Sean Bullick, chief executive of the Newcastle Business Improvement District (BID), said: "It's been a huge success and while this is a city centre initiative the value is collected by the wider region.

"Alive After Five has already grown considerably in terms of the number of businesses involved. Retail is undoubtedly a major part of it but it's not only the retailers who are at the heart of it. Very quickly the restaurant and bar offering has become heavily involved.

"The market has well and truly been created, the main focus for the future is around how we continue to make sure more and more businesses continue to become involved."

Since it was introduced in 2010, Alive After Five is estimated to have attracted 9.7m extra visitors to the city after 5pm.

Based on an average spend of PS40 per person, NE1 estimated that PS591m has been delivered to shops and restaurants on the back of it. Additional restaurant spending is estimated at PS152m and the cultural sector - including theatres and cinemas - were said to have benefited to the tune of PS8m. A total of 43 new restaurants and bars have opened in Newcastle city centre since the launch of Alive after Five with a further 26 scheduled to open by the end of 2016.

The scheme - which is unique in the UK - has also prompted city leaders from Edinburgh, Leeds and Southampton to find out more about Newcastle's success via the NE1 team. …

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