Circus is coming home: The Homecoming 2018 wins a national awardOur partners Newcastle-under-Lyme Business Improvement District (BID) have won a national award for putting the town on the map during this year’s celebrations of the 250th anniversary of the modern circus.
The BID won the Place Marketing Award at the 2018 National BID Awards in Cambridge on 9 November for The Homecoming 2018 delivered in partnership with Appetite. The event was part of a programme of activities across the summer to celebrate Newcastle’s Philip Astley, the man who invented the modern circus 250 years ago. The BID, working with a range of partners, ensured that the town was at the centre of the national celebrations.
The Homecoming 2018 brought the magic of contemporary circus into the heart of Newcastle town centre on Saturday 30 June. Some of the UK’s best circus performers and companies entertained the crowds in a thrilling day of acrobatics, theatre performance, juggling, comedy and more. And the entertainment continued into the evening, with performers visiting nightspots across the town in The Homecoming By Night, delivered in partnership with The Philip Astley Project.
Newcastle BID works to promote the town centre, develop a distinctive Newcastle experience, and encourage growth and development. Its work has seen footfall rise dramatically over the last few years – there have been an extra one million visits to the town centre this year compared to 2017. A thriving events programme has played a big part in this, with The Homecoming joined this year by two music festivals, a food and drink festival and Easter and Halloween specials, all attracting more people into the town. The final event of 2018 is the big Christmas lights switch-on on Saturday 17 November.
Amy Williams, Newcastle BID manager, said: “The Homecoming event was one of the highlights of the Circus250 programme in Newcastle to celebrate the incredible achievements of Philip Astley. We wanted people across the country to know that the inventor of the modern circus was born right here in Newcastle. The events programme, in partnership with lots of organisations, helped to achieve that and put the town on the map. We’re absolutely delighted that our work has been recognised at a national level.”
Gemma Thomas, Appetite Director said: “The recent accolade for the work of The Homecoming celebrates the impact of long-term, embedded partnership working between the team at Newcastle BID, Appetite and Newcastle Borough Council alongside the businesses, suppliers for the event and the artists as part of the programme. Funded by external funding from Arts Council England, The Homecoming 2018 was the fifth event celebrating Newcastle’s place at the heart of an artform and history. We’re all really proud of the event and its impact on local people and businesses locally and playing its part in putting Newcastle-under-Lyme on the map nationally, especially during this anniversary year.”
As well as winning the award, Newcastle BID has also been successfully accredited by British BIDS, the national body for business improvement districts. The accreditation is a positive endorsement of the BID’s governance, management and performance as it continues to promote the town on behalf of all businesses in the Newcastle BID area.