09.19.09 Sting involved in campaign launched to breathe new life into Newcastle...



A campaign hoped to breathe new life into Newcastle and its businesses was launched yesterday with the backing of entrepreneurs, shop owners and even a rock star.

Wallsend-born pop legend Sting appears in one of a series of four television adverts, alongside shoppers, businesses, artists and families, as part of a bid to sell the attractions of the region's capital to a wider public.

The Get Into Newcastle campaign is hoped to change the city's image from a hard-drinking, party town into a cosmopolitan centre with cultural, commercial and family attractions.

It has been organised by the city centre Business Improvement District (BID) management company Newcastle NE1 which is paid for by Newcastle businesses on an annual stipend.

The ads will start to appear in newspapers and magazines, as well as radio and television, trains and buses from the end of this month.



They show a wide variety of leisure activities, and sweeping views of the city under the message that "there is a Newcastle city centre for everyone" with one ending in an image of Sting looming out of the shadows in a city street.

Bob Senior, NE1 board member and managing director of Utopian Leisure, said: "The hairs on the back of my neck literally stood up when I saw the TV advert.

"The fact that Sting is involved just shows how passionate he is about the place, as is every trader involved with NE1."

The campaign is the largest investment yet from NE1, which was launched in April and has so far introduced new street cleaners, uniformed street rangers and is turning empty shops into temporary art galleries.

It has launched the get-into-newcastle.co.uk website - which includes a complete guide to the centre's attractions as well as a host of money off vouchers and has asked residents to suggest overlooked attractions as part of a competition which will see the winner feature on a poster next to their favourite place.

Andy Bairstow, communications director at Metro operator Nexus, said: "This campaign is an exciting development for Newcastle city centre and all the business that operate in it.

"It shows that the BID is delivering what it has promised and that it is determined to promote all sides of the centre, from its rich heritage and fantastic pubs, clubs and restaurants to its supporting transport links."

This campaign is an exciting development for Newcastle and all the business that operate in it.

© The Journal by Chris Knox

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