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NE Business guests hear positive impact of culture on region


Over 200 North East business leaders heard the head of Sage Gateshead set out the economic impact of culture to the region.

Abigail Pogson was keynote speaker at North East England Chamber of Commerce’s Tyne and Wear Annual Review and AGM at Sage Gateshead.

She outlined the social and economic value of the music venue which has one of the UK’s largest music education programmes. Over the 14 years it has been established the economic benefit of it has been estimated as being around £500m with the social impact positively influencing three million people.

Abigail Pogson believes there are even more opportunities to strengthen cross sector partnership working in the future. She said: “Having moved to the North East relatively recently I have been struck by the great sense of community which exists here. However, I think we can have a more confident vision for the future of the region as we have so much to offer.”

She wants there to be more exploitation of the Sage Gateshead’s iconic location which is the busiest business conference venue in the region and its potential to make a change to people’s lives.

Also speaking at the review was Tyne and Wear committee chair, George Sanger who was re-elected. He highlighted how great an opportunity North of Tyne devolution was to grow the area’s economy. He stressed the world class centres of learning and fantastic industrial heritage on which to build.

Neil Barker was re-elected vice-chair and Sunderland chair Natasha McDonough and Alan Metcalfe, South Tyneside chair, will join the Chamber Council.

Chamber assistant director of policy Jonathan Walker: “We are delighted to take this year’s AGM to our Partner members Sage Gateshead. We’re committed to working together alongside other cultural organisations in the North East to highlight the role of culture in supporting regeneration and rebalancing the economy.

“Throughout the year we’ll showcase the excellent work done by cultural organisations in the North to support out economy and argue for greater public and private investment.”

The event was sponsored by North East Growth Hub.