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Boost Newcastle's reputation as a city to visit, and not just for drinking

March 1, 2017 8:38 PM

The Liberal Democrats are keen to help where we can to promote Newcastle as a city that values its culture, heritage and sport. So we're interested in the new Great North City Fund and are happy to support activities that help boost the local economy and promote health and well-being. And we've been discussing what we consider to be possibilities for the £0.9 million fund, Cllr Pauline Allen has told Newcastle City Council

We would of course be interested in learning what the Labour group have in mind for this money and how these ideas link with the Cultural Strategy, something that we don't seem to have heard about for a while, as well as the Tourism Strategy, and also what governance and scrutiny arrangements they have in mind for this money, as it needs to be spent wisely, and with accountability and transparency. We also want to know about links with NewcastleGateshead Initiative, for example who will lead on events, and how events will relate to the Great North Exhibition.

Having said that we'd support activities that boost our reputation as a city to visit and enjoy, and not just as a drinking venue. We all know that the city has much to offer both residents and visitors alike and we need to promote this and do all that we can to promote the city's image which has taken a bit of a knock recently.

Here are some of our ideas:

  • A Royal Variety Performance at the Theatre Royal

  • Holding BBC Sports Personality of the Year at the Arena

  • We could join with Edinburgh to bid to host the Tour de France sometime in the future. We've seen the popularity of cycling in Yorkshire being boosted, as well as their local economy, and we have many keen cyclists in the city and region

  • European Gymnastic events at the Arena, this is a sport with a growing audience and could be fronted by someone like Amy Tinkler

  • We know that Magic Weekend, the Rugby World Cup and the Olympic Games did well at St James Park so could we build on that with maybe an annual pre-season tournament which would link with Sir Bobby Robson's charity? This could start in July 2019 on the tenth anniversary of his death.

  • The Tall Ships is very popular and we could be bid for again. I understand that the Tyne may need to be dredged to enable this so maybe this could be match funded by the LEP.

I'm sure that we could come up with more ideas if asked as we are very proud of Newcastle and keen to promote it wherever and whenever, as a healthy cultural life is essential to everyone in such a great city such as ours.