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North East mums launch Newcastle Parents business

THE sky's the limit for two full-time mums who have started their own business aimed at keeping fellow parents up-to-date on child-friendly events in the region.

Kelly Belmont, Debbie Simpson and Laura Middleton

THE sky's the limit for two full-time mums who have started their own business aimed at keeping fellow parents up-to-date on child-friendly events in the region.

Newcastle Parents has been set up by friends Laura Middleton and Kelly Belmont after their over-the-river counterpart, Sunderland Parents proved so successful.

Frustrated after taking their children to events only to find them postponed or cancelled, the mums decided to set up a what’s on website with information on what’s happening for kids in and around Tyne and Wear.

“We registered Sunderland Parents as a business in October last year,” said Middleton. “It started off as a Facebook page just in and around Sunderland.

“At around 10.30am we were getting around 1,000 hits a day. We managed to hit 5,000 unique users the day before Bonfire Night. It proved so successful that mums in and around Newcastle were begging us to start a Newcastle site.

“We were always the ones who would turn up to an event just finishing or had been postponed so that’s where the idea came from, we originally started the website because it was information that we wanted to know ourselves.”

Together they visited The North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) and were appointed business adviser, Debbie Simpson.

In order for the websites to generate revenue, the pair were advised to launch a monthly newsletter that would offer platforms to potential advertisers.

The two websites now draw thousands of visitors every day and Middleton says its popularity among parents will be reflected among advertisers.

Middleton said: “We’re looking at places where our website could be rolled out and there’s no reason we couldn’t be in every city in the UK. Whether we go down the franchise route or the management route, we’re not sure yet. The next step for us will be to launch a site in Durham. Once we’ve got a really solid North East core following, then we can branch out further afield.

“We’re also definitely thinking about taking on staff. With the amount of work we’ve got on, at some point we will need to have other people on board.”

Debbie Simpson said: “As soon as Laura and Kelly came to the BIC, I was overwhelmed by their enthusiasm and determination.”

 

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