The Sage centres attention on shops

ONE of the top events in the national property market calendar looks set to celebrate record attendance when it comes to The Sage Gateshead next month.

ONE of the top events in the national property market calendar looks set to celebrate record attendance when it comes to The Sage Gateshead next month.

The British Council of Shopping Centres’ annual conference and showcase will be held at the iconic building from Monday, November 5 to Wednesday, November 7 this year – and ticket sales are already very impressive.

Numbers have already surpassed last year’s bookings, with more than 2,000 delegates signed up and final numbers are anticipated to top the 3,000 mark.

That would not only make the event the biggest in the BCSC’s history, but also mean it was the largest-ever conference to be staged in the North-East.

The event has been secured in the region by a working partnership between NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, The Sage Gateshead and Gateshead Council, along with investment from One NorthEast and TyneWear Partnership.

The partnership beat off stiff competition from other leading UK cities, following the presentation of bids to the event organisers.

Michael Green, chief executive of BCSC, said: “We are particularly excited to be bringing our annual conference and showcase to NewcastleGateshead for the first time.

“This is a major trade event that brings together many of the leading executives who decide what our shopping destinations will look like and, even more importantly, where they will be in the future. NewcastleGateshead offers an outstanding backdrop for our event.”

The BCSC event always attracts high numbers of key ‘influencers’ in the retail property sector, which could prove timely for Tyneside at a time when Eldon Square and the MetroCentre are both undergoing major developments, and a scheme to redevelop the east side of Pilgrim Street in Newcastle also appears to be nearing fruition.

Conference delegates will also get the opportunity to join study tours which will take in NewcastleGateshead and Sunderland.

Another feature of the three day proceedings will be a Local Heroes Tea Party which will include Sir John Hall, Alan Shearer, Jonathan Edwards and Brendan Foster among others.

High profile key speakers at the conference include Lord Coe, Sir Bob Geldof, and Wayne Hemingway.

More than 90 companies will be exhibiting in the showcase which will take place in a bespoke, temporary exhibition space next to The Sage Gateshead.

Jamie Martin, chairman of NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “This event presents us with a huge opportunity to showcase the region. By enabling delegates to spend time experiencing as much of what we have to offer as possible during their stay, we are not only ensuring an immediate economic return but could also be sowing the seeds for an even greater impact in years to come.”

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