The regional economy looks set to receive a major boost from the Great North Run this year as organisers of the half-marathon celebrate the one millionth runner crossing the finish line.
On September 4 - three days before the big event - some 25,000 people will line the quayside to witness a showcase for the region’s industrial and sporting heritage, with ncjMedia hosting all corporate hospitality over four venues - Baltic, Live Theatre, Cafe 21 and Broad Chare.
The group - which runs The Journal, The Chronicle and the Sunday Sun - is also selling tickets for a VIP viewing area.
On top of this, NewcastleGateshead Initiative will be using the milestone to attract inward investment to the North East
Catherine Walker, inward investment director at the organisation, said: “During the Great North Run Millionth Finisher event, we’re taking the opportunity to kick-start the promotion of strategic investment and employment sites and have arranged a destination showcase for potential investors.
“The hosted visit will mean investors, developers, fund managers and commercial property consultants get to experience our business-friendly place firsthand, meet influential business leaders, visit the area’s sites that are ripe for development and experience our warm Geordie welcome at a VIP reception at the Great North Run Millionth Finisher event.”
An economic impact report commissioned by Nova suggests the Great North Run brings a direct economic impact of £15.7m annually, providing a boost to local businesses, including hotels.
However, the figure is based on 2010, when 36,671 runners competed. This time round, 54,000 runners have registered, generating the potential for even greater economic gains.
Sarah Stewart, chief executive at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “As it takes place on the Thursday evening, the Opening Ceremony has fantastic potential to extend the Great North Run experience and bring runners and spectators to the area prior to the weekend which will benefit the wider visitor economy.
“Importantly, the planned TV coverage of the event will also deliver valuable national profile and help showcase the destination to potential visitors across the UK.”
To purchase tickets for the VIP viewing area and corporate hospitality, contact Rebecca Luckley on 0191 201 6092 or email firstname.lastname@example.org