Newcastle has become the latest city to announce it will bid to host the Eurovision Song Contest 2023.
It comes after the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) decided the event could not be held in Ukraine despite its Eurovision 2022 win, due to Russia’s invasion, and would instead be held in the UK.
Newcastle has joined the likes of London, Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow in bidding to host the event next spring.
Newcastle’s bid has been organised by the NewcastleGateshead Initiative. Destination director Ian Thomas said the potential impact of Newcastle hosting the event is “phenomenal” and it is a “once-in-a-generation” opportunity to welcome a large number of international visitors to the city.
He said, “Eurovision will play a significant role in rejuvenating and sustaining our visitor economy, supporting our businesses and creating an even better place for our residents.
“We’ve seen other large events such as the European Professional Rugby Club finals attract 95,000 fans to the region which contributed £24 million to our visitor economy in 2019, and World Transplant Games also in 2019 brought in attendees from over 50 countries which pushed hotel occupancy rates up by 13%, supporting the hospitality supply chain and helping to sustain jobs within the industry.”
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Manchester City Council leader Bev Craig and Birmingham City Council leader Cllr Ian Ward are among those to have shown support for their respective cities hosting the event.
The host city is expected to be announced by the autumn. A shortlist of cities is to be announced on the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show on 12 August.