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The changing face of Newcastle and Gateshead’s business events offer

New developments across Newcastle, Gateshead and the wider North East of England are poised to transform the region’s offer for business events organisers.

As a region famed for its hospitality, regularly listed amongst the friendliest destinations for visitors, Newcastle and the town across the river, Gateshead have a long history of hosting large-scale conferences and business travellers from across the world.

Welcoming the likes of the International Society for the Study of Narrative and the Society for Social Medicine & Population Health’s 68th Annual Scientific Meeting, the city provides a warm welcome, a walkable city centre, access to coast and countryside, as well as sector expertise in health and life sciences, digital and tech, energy and sustainability, and world-leading research power in Newcastle University and Northumbria University.

Despite the uncertainty of the sector throughout and following the pandemic, the need for face-to-face networking and in-person events has quickly become apparent. Last year, NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau welcomed more than 200 events and over 6000 delegates to Newcastle and Gateshead.

The appetite is for events is here and over the next few years our offer to event organisers will be even more enhanced with a growing number of hotel beds, reimagined leisure offer, and a transformational, dedicated venue ready for large-scale international conferences, that will enable our region to attract events at a scale that we previously have not been able to.


The region’s first international conference centre

CGI of Sage ICC development

The Sage International Conference Centre (The Sage ICC) on Gateshead Quayside will bring a world-class facility to the North East of England as the first phase of the new The Sage development. The complex will include more than 5,700m2 of flexible exhibition and banqueting space, a 900-seat auditorium, plus 17 conference and meeting spaces.

It will also benefit from 6,000 hotel rooms within walking distance and easy travel connections across the UK and beyond via the nearby Central Station and Newcastle International Airport.


Five-star city centre hotel

CGI of future five-star hotel in former fire station.

Credit: Ryder Architecture

As part of the regeneration of Newcastle’s Pilgrim Street, a former fire station will be transformed to the city’s first five-star hotel, Gotham Hotel. Plans have also been approved to extend the hotel from 60 rooms, to 90 and will expand into the neighbouring Grade II listed police station and Magistrates’ Court.

A bar and function room will be housed in the courts which will incorporate original fittings such as the witness stand and magistrates’ bench.

The Fire Station side of the building is due to open late 2024, followed by the Police Station side in late 2025.


Reimagining of retail: upgraded leisure offer and rooftops galore

CGI of Debenhams rooftop plans

Revitalising Newcastle’s cultural and leisure offer in the heart of the city, Eldon Square is set to invest £65 million in the shopping centre which will see the top floor of the former Debenhams store reimagined as a mix of dining, socialising, art, culture and music performances, and a variety of indoor activities across the centre.


118 more beds on Newcastle Quayside

Luxury hotel brand, Dakota Hotel, announced earlier this year their expansion into Newcastle with a 118-room hotel on Newcastle’s picturesque Quayside. When it opens in 2025, Dakota will offer some of the largest rooms in the city, as well as bar, restaurant, Champagne Room, waterfront terrace and dedicated events space.


Transforming Newcastle’s Grade I-listed indoor market

CGI of upgraded Grainger Market event space at night.

Credit: FaulknerBrowns Arcitects + Pillar Visuals

Exciting new plans for Newcastle’s historic Grainger Market were announced earlier this year. The plans will enhance the Grade I-listed indoor market which houses traditional fruit & veg stalls, butchers, bakeries, cobblers, as well as vintage stores, and independent food & drink retailers and will include a significant upgrade to the Arcade which will make it a flexible space for events with extended opening hours.


STACKs of fun

Leisure container venue STACK which first opened on a temporary-basis on Pilgrim Street in Newcastle in 2018 has quickly expanded across the North of England bringing independent food offers, bars and entertainment in repurposed shipping container villages to millions of visitors. This year it was announced that further venues are set to open across Newcastle and the wider region over the next year.

St. James’ Park STACK will house a brand-new immersive fan zone a stone’s throw away from St. James’ Park for those attending sporting events in the city. The fan zone is due to open in Spring 2024 complete with big screen and main stage.

Back in its hometown STACK Newcastle is relocating to Grade II-listed Worswick Chambers and will include eight bars, seven street food vendors, two cocktail bars and a roof terrace across three floors. The opening date is set for 2025.


Want to find out more about bringing your next conference or business event to Newcastle and Gateshead? Get in touch with our team at

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