Newcastle Pride boosts North East economy by £9.2 million

One of the UK’s largest LGBT festivals has helped boost the North East’s economy by more than £9 million.

Newcastle Pride 2017
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Newcastle Pride, sponsored by business improvement district company NE1, is one of the largest free events of its kind in the country.

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And this year, the leading event attracted more than 73,000 people, while a further 650,000 around the world listened live with Pride World Radio.

Organised by regional LGBT charity Northern Pride, the tenth annual festival saw 17 satellite events take place on the countdown to the main 21 – 23 July weekend, which saw record numbers march through the city in the annual Pride parade, and tens of thousands more braving the rain for the free entertainment at the Town Moor.

Mark Nichols, chairman at Northern Pride, said: “Despite the weekend of wet weather, Newcastle Pride 2017 exceeded our expectations in terms of visitor numbers – with a record-breaking 16,000 marching in the parade and more than 50,000 lining the streets in support.

“We are also delighted – and overwhelmed – at the £9.2 million generated across the six weeks of Newcastle Pride, and hope it proved a great boost to the accommodation providers – who booked 6200 overnight guests, as well as the leisure and travel outlets, who help cater to the huge influx of visitors Pride brings each year.”

For Mark the success of this year’s event is particularly pleasing, as he is now standing down as chair.

“After six years on the Pride committee and four years of that as Chair, I think it’s time to let someone else take over the reins,” he said.

“It has been fantastic to lead Newcastle Pride to where it is now and to see it go from strength to strength, which I’m sure it will continue to do.”

Sean Bullick, chief executive at NE1 said: “We’re delighted to be involved in another record-breaking year for Newcastle Pride.

“The substantial economic impact Pride has on the city not only highlights the importance of major events such as this, but also showcases Newcastle as the open, welcoming city that it is.

“NE1 has been a longstanding supporter of the event and it’s been amazing watching the festival flourish over the years – we’re already gearing up for an even bigger and better Newcastle Pride for 2018.”

This year’s event, which had a “pride in our past, present and future” theme, offered six weeks of activities and entertainment for all ages, with satellite events running at venues across the North East.

Its key focal point however, was three days of live music at the city’s Town Moor from 21 to 23 July, which included headline performances by X Factor winner Sam Bailey and boyband A1, enjoyed by more than 73,000 people.

A number of stalls and themed zones were also in operation throughout the weekend, including the Eazy Street Cabaret Tent, the Tesco Bank Family Zone and the Steve Paske Heath Zone, sponsored by Arnold Clarke and Northumbria Water, which ran alongside a fun fair and number of market stalls in the Matfen Hall Rainbow Village.

Newcastle Pride 2018, sponsored by NE1, will return on 20 – 22 July and will mark the 40th anniversary of the Rainbow Flag, created by Gilbert Baker.

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