Skip to navigation
Skip to content

UIC - Newcastle - urban opportunities

Opportunities in Newcastle upon Tyne:

Social and economic: cultural mix, recreation and entertainment, employment, integrated transport systems

Environmental: urban greening


OPPORTUNITY 1 - Newcastle’s Cultural mix
The cultural mix or multiculturalism refers to a country or place that has more than one culture living together in close proximity.  Multiculturalism is an issue in many HICs and is viewed in both a positive light and as something that can pose problems that need careful management.
The increasing interconnections of our world and the ever-moving populations of our planet via migration mean that most cities like Newcastle around the globe especially in HICs have huge numbers of people of all different races, religions and cultures
The UK has huge numbers of cultures and races, as well as white British people there are huge numbers of migrants from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Canada, USA, Kenya, Zimbabwe and other ex-British colonies.  In addition, there are also many people from Europe and countries outside of the ex-colonies and the European Union.  In addition, many of the "newer" cultures to the UK are not actually that new at all!  Jamaicans and other peoples from the Western Caribbean have lived in the UK for many generations, and many Asian peoples who migrated here now have 3rd and 4th generation families living in the UK.

Newcastle has an increasingly diverse population. 

  • Across Newcastle over 8,000 pupils, nearly a quarter of all schoolchildren at Newcastle schools, are now from black and ethnic minority groups.
  • This is expected to rise to 9,500 pupils by 2018, with a longer-term trend of greater diversity expected.
  • Newcastle is much more diverse than 10 years ago. 14.7% are not white compared to 6.9% in 2001. Unfortunately a recent report stated that “hate crimes and far right extremist views are also on the rise.”

During the last Census of 2011
• Pakistani people were the largest ethnic minority group representing 2.3% of Newcastle’s population,
• Chinese people who made up 2.2%.
• The Indian ethnic group and the ‘Other Asian’ ethnic group each made up 1.8%.
• Black Africans and Bangladeshis each accounted for 1.7% of Newcastle’s residents
• 10.4% of the people in Newcastle were born in countries outside of the UK and Europe compared to the North East of England overall where the figure was only 3.4%.
• 74.1% of Newcastle-upon-Tyne’s residents hold a British Passport
• English is the main language for 91% of Newcastle’s residents.

% White population across Newcastle

Impact upon culture

Newcastle has a huge range of restaurants public buildings such as Mosques, and events that show what a diverse society and culture the city has.  Newcastle Mela is a free event, based around Pakistani, Bengali, Indian and other South Asian cultures. The event is open to all of the public and encourages an audience from a variety of backgrounds to attend its annual grand festival. It is a true display of diversity within Newcastle upon Tyne. People come from far and wide to: learn; be entertained; enjoy cuisine; dance to new music; experience fine art and cultures from around the world and meet new people.

Chinese New Year is also celebrated along Stowell Street in Newcastle’s celebrated China Town district.

This migration and multiculturalism has been advantageous for Newcastle upon Tyne.  It enriches huge areas of Newcastle upon Tyne cultural life, from the amazing array of food that is available on nearly every high street in Newcastle upon Tyne to the music variety on offer (the BBC's Asian Radio channel is a great example of this).  Other advantages include the great exposure people get to other religions, languages and cultural parties.  The cultural mix in Newcastle upon Tyne also highlights what a broadly tolerant and liberal people the citizens of the Newcastle upon Tyne are.
A cultural mix is not without its difficulties.  One of the big issues for Newcastle upon Tyne and other parts of the UK is INTEGRATION.  How can we ensure that all new peoples moving to Newcastle upon Tyne and other parts of the UK can converse properly in English, mix with other groups and have access to all of the advantages of being a UK subject.  Another issue is ghettoes, how can we prevent economically poorer cultural groups living in the poorest parts of our cities.  Language is another issue, and many public services such as schools and hospitals have to provide language translation services.  The 2 maps do show that there are areas with greater numbers of migrant groups in across the city, and that at times some of these ethnic groups are not as well integrated as they could be. 



OPPORTUNITY 2 - Recreation and entertainment
Newcastle-upon-Tyne is, in both an economic as well as a cultural sense, the capital of the northeast of England. This post-industrial city stands on the River Tyne, its center possessing many noteworthy Victorian buildings and streets as well as large shopping centers including Eldon Square. It is also popular for its many interesting museums such as the Great North Museum and entertainment facilities, including the prestigious Theatre Royal (see picture below) and City Hall, a popular venue for rock and pop concerts. The city is steeped in history and culture from its stunning Castle to the iconic Newcastle Tyne Bridge, alongside modern monuments including the picturesque Gateshead Millennium Bridge. There is also the Academy music venue, art galleries such as the Laing Art Gallery, and a multitude of restaurants and bars.  Newcastle is renowned for being a “party city”, which brings money into the city but also problems via anti-social and drunken behaviour.

Theatre Royal

The city hosts numerous National events per year, including
1. Chinese New Year celebration,
2. Major rugby events such as The Big One and European rugby’s biggest weekend in 2019 with the Heineken’s Champions Cup and European Challenge Cup taking place at St James’ Park.
3. This is Tomorrow Festival at Exhibition Park
4. Northumberland Plate Day is the biggest event of the year at Newcastle Racecourse
5. The world’s biggest half marathon, the Great North Run, starts in the city
The city has a rich history and plenty of architecture to admire.  The Quayside is home to the Tyne Bridges and many medieval buildings such as Bettie Surtees house, whilst Grainger Town is home to many listed buildings and Grey Street, once voted Britain’s favourite street.
In 2018, Newcastle was named the best place to visit in the world in Rough Guides' annual round-up.

China Town
China Town entrance arch with St James Park in the back ground CC BY- Hans Peter Schaefer SA 3.0,

OPPORTUNITY 3 - Employment opportunities in Newcastle

In 2018 the Chronicle Newspaper revealed that the largest companies in the Newcastle region were:

Newcastle top employers

These businesses employ huge numbers of people across a range of different employment sectors offering a variety of employment opportunities. It also shows that despite its original growth as an industrial city Newcastle has developed a more modern and varied economy.

The list also does not including employers who do not operate a business.  Other important employers in Newcastle include;
1. Newcastle University which has a global reputation for academic excellence. With nearly 6,000 staff and a turnover of almost £490 million it plays a leading role in the economic, social and cultural development of the north east of England. (Source).  It had 24,000 students (2014)
2. Northumbria University employs more than 3,200 people and has over 26,000 students (2016-17)
3. Her Majesties Revenues and Customs (HMRC) who are a department of the UK Government (responsible for the collection of taxes, the payment of some forms of state support etc.) employ over 6,300 people in Newcastle mainly at its Benton Park View site
4. Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust employs nearly 12,000 people in its services, including the RVI and Freeman hospitals
Despite all these employment opportunities, there are still challenges in terms of unemployment. This is highlighted in the table below, where Newcastle has higher that national average unemployment and lower than national average employment levels.
Unemployment rates across Newcastle

OPPORTUNITY 4 - Integrated transport systems
Newcastle upon Tyne has a developed INTEGRATED transport system.  Integrated transport means that all of the different forms of transport can link to one another.  Its transport network includes both private and public services. Travellers made 36.4m journeys on the Metro electric light rail system service in 2017/18 in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Newcastle upon Tyne is connected to the rest of the UK – the A1 motorway links Newcastle upon Tyne’s to London and Edinburgh, and the A69 leads to the west.  Newcastle International airport serves as major link to other hub International airports such as Heathrow; busses from the North East congregate here and trains link the city via the East coast mainline to Kings Cross in London, which would then connect to Europe via Eurostar from St Pancras.

Nexus and Stagecoach manage much of Newcastle upon Tyne’s public transport, including the iconic Metro system, and Buses.
Newcastle upon Tyne Commuters can travel on most forms of transport and they are integrated, there are bike stands at metro stations, park and ride facilities, and hub metro stations where busses link to the metro system.

To limit car journeys, the Council have introduced pedestrianised and restricted zones for cars within the city centre, and is considering a controversial Newcastle upon Tyne congestion charge to enter with a car.  The city did have a bicycle rental scheme, operated by Mobike, but this has ceased to operate.

Sustans info on cycling in Newcastle
Sustrans information about cycling possibilities in Newcastle

Newcastle has been slowly developing an integrated cycling network and according to the organisation Sustrans;
• Almost 9 million trips made by bike in Newcastle in the past year
• Saving the NHS £585,000 annually, equivalent to the average salary of 25 nurses
• Bicycles take up to 6,957 cars off Newcastle’s roads each day, equal to a 21-mile tailback
• £24 million total annual benefit to Newcastle from people riding bikes for transport and leisure
There is huge potential for more people to ride bikes...
• 7% of Newcastle residents usually cycle to and from work
• 31% of people live within 125m of a cycle route
• 52% would like to start riding a bike, or could ride their bike more
• 40% think cycling safety is good

OPPORTUNITY 5 - Environmental: urban greening

Key words
Urban greening
- The process of increasing and preserving open space such as public parks and gardens in urban areas.
Urban regeneration - The revival of old parts of the built‐up area by either installing modern facilities in old buildings (known as renewal) or opting for redevelopment (i.e. demolishing existing buildings and starting afresh).

Newcastle college green roof
Newcastle College green roof  SOURCE

Urban greening means to increase the amount and proportion of green spaces within a city.  These green spaces are essential for people’s quality of life.  Newcastle upon Tyne has tried to offer lots of green spaces within its urban area by;
1. Creating ROOFTOP green spaces - Marks and Spencers in the centre of the town have a 165m2 green wall, the visitors centre in Jesmond Dene has a green roof, whilst Newcastle College has a 1,500m2 green roof. These roofs are used as living spaces and spaces to grow plants.
2. Making major new building projects take into consideration urban green spaces, including the Newcastle Great Park which has a range of green spaces for recreation and flood prevention including numerous sustainable urban drainage projects
3. Offering a huge range of green spaces open to the public including the Town Moor, Jesmond Dene and Exhibition Park
4. Newcastle University’s new Urban Sciences Building opened in 2017. The £10 million facility will enable testing of new “smart” technologies and urban flood management features. Other steps include creating more storm water storage space by diverting a section of the Ouseburn at Brunton Park.

Jesmond Dene waterfall

Next Topic - UIC - Newcastle - Challenges



Hot Wired IT Solutions Logo