High-profile delegates from the North East will come together tomorrow to discuss the future of Newcastle.
A conference is being held at the region’s Centre for Life to explore new opportunities to shape the city.
Entitled, Newcastle - A Good City in Tough Times, the event will involve almost 100 senior delegates from health, business, Government, education, arts and culture, faith and voluntary sectors.
The Journal’s editor Brian Aitken, Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah and Ruth Abrahams from Disability North are some of those attending.
Leader of Newcastle City Council, Nick Forbes, is one of the five keynote speakers.
He said: “This conference comes at a challenging time when the city stands at a crossroads.
“It is a vital step in defining together which direction we take.”
Discussions will include assessing key challenges for the city, new approaches to old problems and a new shared agenda for action.
Lucy Winskell, pro-vice chancellor, business and engagement at Northumbria University, is also speaking at the conference.
She said: “Universities play an important role in the continued success of vibrant cities such as Newcastle.
“As one of the city’s largest employers, we continually contribute to the economic growth of the city and work closely with a range of local suppliers and partners.
“We also engage with many of the region’s key cultural organisations supporting home-grown talent, and collaborate with international partner universities, providing a global platform from which to share Newcastle’s story.
“But we couldn’t do all of this without our students – who flock to this fantastic student city year after year.
“Northumbria is proud to be ranked in the top five nationally for graduate start-ups and it’s great to see how our talented students contribute to Newcastle’s thriving economy, re-investing their time, expertise and passion into the city that launched their careers.”
Discussion groups will contribute a statement of intent and a practical action in response to each topic to develop a shared agenda for action for Newcastle, which will be followed up in Spring 2014.
The Very Rev Chris Dalliston, Dean of Newcastle, said: “Strength and daring, creativity and commitment, these are the hallmarks of our city.
“We need them as never before to see us safely through these difficult times.”