The North of Tyne Combined Authority has bid to bring more events like the OVO Tour of Britain Cycle Race to Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland.
It has given the green light to a £20 million investment over three years in the region’s tourism, digital and creative future.
This will include a £3.5 million events fund, designed to attract thousands of new visitors to the area.
In addition to securing major international cultural and sporting highlights, this money will be used to promote smaller-scale independent events such as food and drinks festivals.
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Cllr Peter Jackson, North of Tyne cabinet member for place and productivity, said: “It’s the first time Northumberland, Newcastle, and North Tyneside will have a dedicated fund of this kind.
“We work incredibly hard to promote our region, and we are justifiably proud of all we have to offer.
“This will help showcase to visitors our art, culture, heritage and innovation, and to encourage residents to explore our wonderful city, countryside and coast.”
North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll Mayor Driscoll praised the “innovative, ambitious” work done to shape the proposal and thanked the businesses and organisations who were involved.
He said the events fund will put Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland “in the shop window”.
“I remember standing in the crowd watching the Tour of Britain cross the finish line in Newcastle and thinking ‘we should have more of this’,” Mayor Driscoll said.
“The success of that event was a testament to the hard work done across all of the North of Tyne, from the people who were closing roads and looking after people’s safety to the pubs and BnBs who welcomed our visitors.
“It was a major international event; it brought a four-and-a-half million pound boost to our economy and it put us in the shop window across the world.”
The events fund will be used to secure and promote a year-round series of events to highlight the incredible diversity of activities and experiences in the region – from Hadrian’s Wall to our music venues.
Included in the £20m is £10 million to boost digital industries and innovation and cash for three new Culture and Creative Zones, to ensure our creative businesses have the space they need to promote collaboration and learning.
The North of Tyne Combined Authority was created in November 2018, when Parliament signed off on a £600 million devolution deal bringing Newcastle, Northumberland and North Tyneside councils together in an unprecedented transfer of power and investment from Westminster to the North East.
The result was the creation of the combined authority, tasked with initiating projects to boost growth, create jobs, and the election of a new metropolitan mayor.
Since then, the combined authority has set up investment programmes which are forecast to create more than 2,500 new jobs, boosted STEM learning in schools and industrial heritage education, set up a Returnships Programme to support people who’ve been out of work caring for loved ones, and become a Real Living Wage Employer with a zero gender pay gap, amongst other things.
2020 will see the construction with Newcastle United Foundation of a sports and youth centre for young people in disadvantaged areas, and the launch of the Good Work Pledge employment charter.
North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll was elected on a promise to establish a regional bank, make the North of Tyne net zero for carbon emissions by 2030, and to overhaul adult education.
Key to his economic strategy will be to support communities in the North of Tyne to create and build wealth, then keep that wealth in the region.