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April 16, 2008

Political event raises NewcastleGateshead's profile

NewcastleGateshead's local economy received a £1m boost as over 1,500 descended for the Conservative Party Spring Forum held at The Sage Gateshead earlier this month.

The event benefited local businesses including conference venues, hotels and restaurants, as well as cultural attractions and retailers. And with the national media spotlight focused firmly on NewcastleGateshead, it provided an excellent opportunity to showcase the destination as a dynamic place to visit.

Encouragingly, feedback from organisers and delegates was very positive.

Councillor Stephen Ellis, from Staffordshire, one of the 1,500 delegates who attended the event, said: "I fell in love with the place and the people - both so warm and welcoming. The place felt like home. I have never been to NewcastleGateshead before but I'm definitely coming back.”

And it's not just the locals and stunning scenery that created such a memorable
event. The quality venues and experienced event support services were also
highly praised.

Conservative Party Chairman Caroline Spelman MP said: "We are delighted that we brought our Spring Forum to NewcastleGateshead. It was a bold, inspired decision by our Party to venture to a new location and we couldn't have found a more accommodating and welcoming venue than The Sage Gateshead.”

Commenting on the success of the forum, Jessica Roberts, head of business tourism at NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, said: "Hosting an event of this calibre is a fantastic coup for us and a testament to the growing reputation we have as one of the UK's leading business destinations. We are delighted that delegates had such a great experience.

“As well as bringing in a £1 million immediate boost to the local economy and supporting local business, the region's tourism market has also benefited as we believe many delegates will return with families and friends in the future for leisure breaks.”

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