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Justified passion for Newcastle

Updated: Dec 30, 2023

Newcastle. Somewhere I've called home for the past five years. But recently, I've considered it more than home. The city, the people and everything in between. The club scene is like that older brother you can't get away from. One day he'll beat your bank account senseless for a night that'll gain you nothing but regret and shame. While the next pleasantly surprises you with one of the most memorable nights of your life. This place has shades of a mysterious nature. Almost like the city is its own sitcom (aside from the one that’s already here). That Geordie shore reputation is the annoying neighbour that doesn't leave you alone. That character everyone loves to hate. The 'Radgies' are the stroppy younger sister whose presence always causes an upset and usually ends in some confrontation. However, it always adds a little excitement to the day, and you can't help but stop and watch. The Jesmond residential is that grandmother who has yet to exactly adapt to the modern world and moans when anything millennial enters its immediate vicinity. No doubt, the police will be hassled within seconds of first contact. The Ouseburn massive would be that cool uncle that can teach you a thing or two if you give him £6 for a pint and don't mind getting talked down to for a little bit.

But recently, in the wake of the United takeover, it almost felt like the city had been given a new lease on life. Now, I could be falling into some football mania hype. However, of course, it will bring more publicity to the city. Thus, more money and, in a stinky greed way, this could only be good. Even for the party scene and the music within the city. But as my brain spirals through the thoughts of the future and possibilities of what Newcastle can become. I came to the stoned question, 'Is the Newcastle council doing as much as possible to promote the arts, music, and creative industries. So, now knee-deep in a paranoid rabbit hole of what next? What next?

To further my knowledge on the topic and understand the current economic climate of Newcastle, I attended a talk with the Newcastle council called "Building an inclusive economy". Throughout the conference, many bigwigs discuss their plans to support small local businesses and the struggling NHS workforce. These crucial economic sectors must be funded and kept in the current economic climate. With speaker after speaker coming to the stand and talking about the local initiatives and community projects, it was reassuring to hear that the Newcastle council has plans to grow and continue building the economy around them. My miss trust in politicians doesn't fail to come true. Again and again, politicians make promises to gain public support and fail to deliver as soon as a re-election campaign is over. They promise the world and do nothing more than cash their taxpayer's checks.

Throughout the talk, I waited for the arts and culture department to take a stand and talk about the thriving culture growing within the city. Still, as the conference ended, no such speaker was seen. So that means one of two things: Newcastle Council needs to value the industry more. Or it needs to know the actual value of its cultural sector. But either way, I know it means that Newcastle politicians in their Ivory Towers need to do more to support the industry.

The only piece of reassurance that I found was while conversing with a lovely woman who was a part of the arts and development team within the council. We talked at length about developing creative minds and the city's potential. Even Newcastle plans to develop 'cultural and creative zones' to promote creative workspaces and artistic minds to build parts of the city. This area is Clayton Street and the area around the city centre. As much as my own doubts about this area being a 'creative epicentre' to Newcastle, this is amazing. She talked about the music, arts and culture department within the city supporting local initiatives like Alphabeti theatre, Boho arts, the suggestables and the lubber fiend. All providing their own take on Newcastle culture ad the betterment of it. But the Gentrification of unused neighbourhoods of the city would promote further growth and attraction. Even simpler, this would mean artists and event organisers could get away with more shit. Like longer licencing, bigger parties, louder music if it was outside the city centre away from the ears of the local Karen and anyone so upset by the sound of loud music, they feel obliged to complain. It's been seen in areas across the UK. East of London, Manchester, and Bristol.

The importance of the arts and music community in the growth of our local economy. As we look towards the future of Newcastle, it is crucial to recognise the immense value that the arts and music industries can bring to our city. The arts and music community has the power to bring people together, foster creativity, and inspire innovation. They can drive economic growth by creating jobs, attracting tourism, and generating revenue for local businesses. Therefore, Newcastle needs to invest in and support these industries.

The arts and music community in Newcastle is already thriving, with a diverse range of talented artists, musicians, and performers who contribute to the cultural fabric of our city. However, the Newcastle Council needs to do more to support the growth of the industry and the individuals involved. The Newcastle Council is in a unique position to support this; however, in many aspects is jeopardising its status to seriously help the community that stands for so much. Newcastle politicians currently allocate the arts and culture dept £60,000 per year. That's to spend on community projects around Newcastle.

Firstly, increased investment in arts and music infrastructure, such as venues, recording studios, and performance spaces, can create jobs in construction and maintenance. Once established, these facilities can also employ people in management, promotion, and production of performances.

Secondly, the arts and music industry can attract tourism to the city, increasing revenue for local businesses. Tourists who come to attend concerts, exhibitions, and performances are likely to spend money on accommodation, food, transportation, and shopping in the city, which can contribute to the growth of local businesses.

Finally, supporting the arts and music community can contribute to the city's overall quality of life, attracting and retaining talented individuals and businesses. A vibrant arts and music scene can enhance the city's reputation and make it more attractive to companies and entrepreneurs.

Newcastle must:

1. Increased funding for community initiatives focusing on arts, culture, and music within the city to promote social health and inclusivity. To create and maintain jobs in the arts and culture sector.

2. extended licencing events, clubs, and bars for longer opening hours. Turn Newcastle into a 24-hour city with the support of a night czar to nurture and maintain the nightlife and preserve the industry.

Creating an exciting Newcastle that hasn't been seen in the city for years. It would prove to the people that the council cares about the industry and supports the creative nature of the individuals within it. It would show the rest of the country that Newcastle supports the economic growth of the city's arts, music, and culture. Individuals and events management groups could create an inclusive community like nowhere else. Bringing these events to the city would attract new students and people because of the prospects and possibilities.

Further consideration as to why increasing funding for the arts and music community might be essential is to address inequality and promote diversity. Historically, the arts and music industries have been dominated by certain groups. Not just the groups that can afford to do so. By increasing leniency on licencing for the arts and music community, Newcastle City Council can help to create more opportunities for artists and musicians from diverse backgrounds, promoting social inclusion and ensuring that everyone has access to the benefits of cultural activities.

COVID-19 significantly impacted the cultural sector, with many venues closing and events being cancelled. As a result, many artists and musicians have lost income and opportunities to showcase their work. By increasing funding for the arts and music community, Newcastle City Council can help support those most affected by the pandemic and ensure that the city's cultural sector can recover and thrive. Hopefully, by making these points, the benefits could be more profound than at first look. For example, music can powerfully impact our mental health and well-being. Research has shown that listening to music can have various positive effects on mental health, including reducing stress and anxiety; Improving mood; Enhancing memory and cognition; providing a sense of comfort and belonging; increasing motivation and productivity; Providing relaxation and sleep. By improving the environment, the people's lives living in it will also be improved. Giving people a brighter outlook will create an inclusive, passionate community where diversity and creativity flourish.

Some Ideas of what to do if granted:

The idea would be that the council would employee (or part-time) a team that people could use to help them develop events in the city. They would help with health and safety and the whole process of licencing parties. Also, by growing the arts, music, and culture team within Newcastle council to further develop their knowledge, incite and support of the local community and the programs the locals are creating.

Extending the licencing for multiple clubs are bars throughout the town would increase public spending and generate bigger revenue for the industry. This would create a more prominent reputation for the nightlife within the city, thus increasing annual tourism, public expenditures, and population health. Turning Newcastle into a 24-hour city with the employment and support of a night czar nurture and maintain the nightlife and preserve the industry.

Support local clubs, bars, and community projects in newly developing areas of the city separate from the current city centre/ student sector and (creative culture area) to build a culture that is genuinely about the Newcastle scene and brings a vibrant art and music community to the city.

In summary, by supporting Newcastle's arts and music community, we will create a more vibrant and culturally rich city, boost our economy, and create new opportunities for our residents. I urge the council to consider these possibilities and act towards a brighter future for Newcastle. By signing the petition, you can help raise awareness of these issues and advocate for positive change that will benefit artists, musicians, and the community.

Petition to follow in next few days. Hold tight.

Signing off, Justified Passion

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