City of Dreams official launch date confirmed


Our 10year mission starts on 18th September – let’s make NewcastleGateshead the best place to be young

City of Dreams is being launched at two special events on 18th September. Look out for invites landing in your inboxes in the coming days.

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NewcastleGateshead Cultural Venues are kicking off the 10year mission for all children and young people in our city, in partnership with over 40 arts, heritage, science, education, voluntary sector, health, local authority and business partners.

Our partnership recognises that local children face significant challenges. There are high levels of child poverty on Tyneside, high numbers of Looked After Children, an attainment dip between primary and secondary education, and recurring skills challenges for young people making their way into work.

However, by working together to harness the benefits of cultural engagement and creative activity, we believe NewcastleGateshead can earn a reputation as the best place to be young.

NewcastleGateshead Cultural Venues is a group of 10 large organisations, running 20 unique venues on Tyneside.

NGCV_Device_ColourWe are initiating City of Dreams because we have a common commitment to working with local children and young people.

We want to play our part in improving their life chances.

City of Dreams will enable us to best support statutory, voluntary, cultural, and other organisations who work every day in the interests of children, young people, and our fantastic city.

Over the last year we have brought together organisations across the arts, culture, science, education, local and health authorities, business, and the children and young people’s sector. Though the City of Dreams Champions network, this broad partnership has developed the ideas and actions that will make our mission a success.

We are going forward together, for the next decade.

But, crucially, City of Dreams is putting children and young people in the lead.

Our Young Champions Board is led by Gateshead Youth Assembly and NewcastleBCC full hall Youth Council. With their support, and help from Youth Focus North East, Headliners, the Princes Trust, and NewcastleGateshead CVS, we ran our first Big Culture Conversation earlier this year.

During 4 months of workshops and focus groups, the Big Culture Conversation engaged nearly 1000 under25s in shaping an agenda for culture in our city.

They told us cultural and creative activity helps them grow confidence, find new talents, develop sustainable careers, and share their voice in powerful ways. We believe it will also contribute to raising attainment and aspiration.

We believe all under 25s should be able to enjoy the fantastic things available to see and do in our city, and to get the most out of engaging with culture, heritage art and science. Through our partnership, we have some fantastic new ideas to make that happen.

We’re starting from a strong base too. There are over 4million attendances at cultural venues in NewcastleGateshead every year, and over 900,000 engagements in creative learning programmes. 

City of Dreams is a shared strategy for going further, for enabling children and young people to be more than just visitors.

Over the next 10 years we will work to break down the barriers that prevent some people from taking part, to engage everyone under 25, enable them to develop new interests, skills and careers, have a stronger role in civil society, and improve their life experiences.

We will be sharing more details at our special launch events.

Joining us to bring the City of Dreams vision and plans to life on 18th September, will be:

There will also be the first screening of a new City of Dreams film, made by NorthernStars at Tyneside Cinema, and a poem written and performed by young people involved in the Big Culture Conversation.

Will you be joining us?

There will be 2 events on 18th September, both hosted at Northern Stage.



A special seminar for arts, culture, heritage and science organisations. This event will highlight the key insights informing the City of Dreams strategy, and allow time for discussion about how we can work together in the future, evolve our plans, and what challenges we might face along the way.


An exciting City of Dreams event for leaders in civil society, business, education, culture, the arts, funding organisations, and the voluntary and community sector. There will be presentations, announcements, performances and opportunities for networking.

To find out more stay tuned to this website, email us at, or follow City of Dreams on Twitter



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