May 29 2018 @ 10:02 by Chloe Holmes
NE1 Ltd, the Business Improvement District Company for Newcastle City Centre, the company responsible for Alive after Five, the Quayside Seaside and Newcastle Restaurant Week, unveiled its ambitious plans for a third term today, Thursday 24 May, inviting the city’s business community to give their views on the priorities set for the next five years and to support NE1 in its BID renewal. In advance of the renewal ballot in September, NE1 has published a consultation document outlining its priority areas for action over the next five years and reviewing the transformational impact of NE1’s projects delivered to date.
The document was launched at a packed business breakfast held at the Newcastle University Business School with Professor Chris Day (Vice Chancellor, Newcastle University) starting proceedings.
A wide range of NE1’s 1,400 business members attended the launch together with Newcastle City Council leader, Nick Forbes. Coun Forbes lent his support to NE1, endorsed all it has achieved over the last five years and urged the business community to contribute to the plans and challenge NE1 to push on and be even more bold and ambitious over its next term.
The focus of NE1’s new five-year plan is based on its founding principle, to keep business interests at the top of the political agenda, with this as the starting point the key areas for action are:
· Providing a stronger voice for business – Working with partners to raise awareness and perceptions of the city at a regional, national and international level. Continue to lobby for increased investment for Newcastle’s regional, national and international transport links and continue to deliver NE1’s diverse portfolio of projects not forgetting to ‘get the basics right’, ensuring the city centre is cleaner, greener and safer.
· Curating the experience – Continue to run and develop NE1 events that have a proven return on investment including Screen on the Green, Newcastle Pride, the Newcastle Motor Show, Newcastle Restaurant Week and Welcome Students of the World. Additional focus on providing a ‘step change’ in Newcastle’s Christmas and New Year experience to deliver increased footfall and revenue. Make more of Newcastle’s history and heritage improving the promotion and opportunities it presents.
· Digital Innovation – Working with key partners, NE1 plans to improve Newcastle’s digital infrastructure for both visitors and businesses investing in innovative digital projects to improve the business environment in the city centre.
· Attracting a wider audience – Supporting and delivering additional events that attract increasing numbers of people into the city centre. Broadening the visitor demographic by focusing on family orientated and culturally diverse events in the city centre.
· Greening the city – Ensure that the ‘green’ agenda is integral to all NE1’s physical projects and work with businesses to identify the feasibility of communal recycling facilities as well as working to reduce vehicle emissions in the pedestrian heart of the city.
· Capitalising on the Quayside waterfront – Turning the spotlight on the Quayside and maximising the opportunity that the area provides. NE1 has outlined its commitment to investing in the public realm along the river to make the most of its waterfront location with the aim of driving footfall, dwell time and spend in the area.
Work with business to develop an annual events programme that positions the area as a destination in its own right.
Using NE1’s previous knowledge and expertise of unlocking capital funding, deployed successfully for the Central Station, Northumberland Street and the Bigg Market, identify new funding streams for the Quayside that would maximise the impact and returns on any NE1 investment.
Following the launch, copies of the consultation document will be sent to NE1’s 1,400 business members, there will then be a one-month consultation period during which NE1 will work closely with the business community to refine and develop the plans and seek business support for the BID renewal vote. The consultation will close on the 29 June.
NE1’s Business Plan, incorporating business feedback, will then be issued on 3 September with the BID vote closing on 18th October.
Adrian Waddell, Chief Executive of NE1 Ltd
“This is an important and exciting time for Newcastle and NE1. We are proud of all that has been achieved over the last five years with the support and guidance of the city’s business community.
“As a BID company and as a city we can’t afford to rest on our laurels and we are passionate and committed to making sure that Newcastle strives to be the best it can be – we need to be relentless in the pursuit of further improvements and opportunities, looking for ways the city can develop, expand and attract investment and visitors. Increasingly we are looking internationally to foster world wide links for Newcastle and the North East for trade, education and cultural opportunities that will further cement Newcastle’s position in the premier league of European regional capital cities.”
“We urge businesses to contribute and help us shape our plans which will be the foundation of our work for the next five years.”
Businesses who wish to get involved, can download a copy of the consultation document from NE1’s website www.newcastlene1ltd.com or contact Adrian Waddell directly at Adrian.firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 0191 2357092.
NE1 key achievements:
NE1 was voted Best BID in Europe in 2016
£31.9 million leveraged funding since NE1 was established
Launched Alive after Five in October 2010, which transformed Newcastle’s early evening economy with the majority of city centre shops open until 8pm. Alive after Five has delivered an estimated £839 million spend after 5pm, with an additional 13.7 million visitors post 5pm in the city centre
340,000 visitors attracted per annum to events delivered by, or supported by NE1
Over the last 9 years – NE1’s Street Rangers and Clean Team have worked on the city’s streets for 363 days of the year – collecting 7,800 black bags of rubbish per annum and responding to 3,650 rapid response Clean Team requests
84% of users agreed that Newcastle is now a more attractive place to visit
72% of businesses reported growth in sales after 5pm since the introduction of Alive after Five