Whether it’s The Great Exhibition of the North currently lighting up Newcastle and Gateshead or the 30th annual Sunderland Airshow, the North East is having a busy summer.
Stunt pilots and fighter planes will take flight over Wearside this weekend for Sunderland’s International Airshow – an event that last year attracted more than one million visitors and generated £15m for the local economy.
Activities start this evening and continue across the weekend, with a mix of flying displays and arena events to enjoy.
There will be a strong military presence at the event with the RAF, Army and Navy military villages, as well as a range of craft and trade stands.
Head of events for Sunderland City Council, Victoria French, said: “We are looking forward to the 30th Sunderland Airshow, an event which the people of our city and the region have really taken to their hearts to help make it the success that it has become.
“Generations of families have grown up with the Sunderland Airshow with literally millions of visitors coming to our city over the last three decades to share and enjoy the spectacle.
“What makes our 30th Airshow event even more special is that it will also allow us to share in the 100th anniversary of the event’s greatest supporters and most popular attractions – the Royal Air Show – whose centenary it is this year.”
With another successful event almost guaranteed on Wearside and the continuation of the Great Exhibition of the North across Tyneside over the summer, North East businesses are well placed to take advantage.
Kelly Green, regional director of SME banking for the North East at Lloyds Bank, believes this is the perfect opportunity for local hospitality businesses to capitalise on the influx of visitors to the region.
She said: “These large regional events present great opportunities for North East businesses operating across the hospitality supply chain, from transport operators to food and drinks distributors, to hotels, art galleries and pubs.
“Making the most of these opportunities, however, requires forward planning.
“In order to capitalise on busy periods and manage dips in income during quieter times, businesses have to make targeted, strategic investments and consider how they can maximise the capital available to do so.”
According to recent statistics from the NewcastleGateshead Initiative, tourism is currently the North East’s fourth largest sector, contributing £1.6bn to the regional economy.
Figures released by the Office of National Statistics last week highlighted that the average overseas visitor to Newcastle alone spends almost £90 a day.
Ms Green continued: “As we enter the height of the summer holidays, now is the time for businesses to ensure they can manage demand. And as they do so, we’ll be with them every step of the way.
“Our latest Lloyds Bank Working Capital Index found that firms across the North East of England had £61 billion in excess working capital – the amount of money tied up in the day-to-day costs of doing business and therefore unavailable to invest.
“By shortening the working capital cycle, increasing the rate at which they turn their products or services into cash, businesses can release funds that could give them the cash boost needed to maximise sales during times of increased demand and manage slower months.
“As part of our pledge to help Britain prosper, Lloyds Bank has developed a working capital management tool that allows our relationship managers to analyse firms’ cash cycles.
“This, along with tailored funding packages and one-to-one support from our relationship team, can help everyone from a bar in Bamburgh to a hotel in Hartlepool ensure they’re ready to make the most of the opportunities in the sector.”
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