The brighter side of Newcastle’s drinking scene

Written by News

Despite having a bad reputation for causing public safety issues, emergency services expenditure, anti-social behaviour and health problems, recent reports have shown the benefits that Newcastle’s drinking scene has brought to the city.

Newcastle has the largest population in North East England at an estimated 300,000 and is the eighth most populated city in England. Despite this, the city boasts 218 pubs, meaning that there is one pub for every 1376 residents.

The pub trade brings a variety of benefits to the region. The British Beer and Pub Association reported that Newcastle’s pubs employ 8699 people.

The city’s drinking reputation brings in stag and hen dos who contribute approximately £33,230,111 to Newcastle’s economy each year, according to findings by StagWeb.co.uk and GoHen.com. The city is significantly more popular for stag dos than hen dos, with 4560 of the former coming to the Toon every year compared to 3610 of the latter. With each group having an average of 14 members, this means that over 110,000 visitors flock to Newcastle each year to celebrate an upcoming wedding. The report shows that the groups usually stay for two nights, with June being the most popular time of year, and contribute to the local economy by spending money on accommodation, food, evening entertainment and daytime activities such as cocktail mixing sessions, spa trips, afternoon tea, paintballing and bubble football.

StagWeb.co.uk and GoHen.com reported that “the average stag party will arrive on a Friday afternoon in June, stay in a 2-star hotel, enjoy go karting and paintball, consist of 14 guys and spend £372 each on their weekend. 64% of their expenditure will be on food and drink”. In comparison, “the average bride and her hens will arrive on a Friday afternoon in June and opt to stay in self-catering accommodation, they’ll enjoy cocktail mixing and a pampering day. They will be in a group of 14 and each spend slightly less than the stags for their weekend, £341. 58% of their money will be spent on food and drink.”

From the shipping container developments Stack and By the River Brewco which are popular for daytime drinking, to the trendy pubs in Ousburn and the sheer breadth of pub quizzes on offer, Newcastle benefits from a broad variety of drinking establishments. More traditional pubs in the city include The Old George, The Strawberry and student staple The Trent. The 2006 travel guide The Rough Guide to Britain ultimately classfied Newcastle’s nightlife as Great Britain’s top tourist attraction.

The article praised the city’s wide catchment area, with the Metro and local train services enabling people from Durham, Sunderland and the coast to have easy access to Newcastle’s many drinking establishments. The two universities located in the city centre also provide many of the regular punters of the city’s pubs; findings by Natwest show that students at Newcastle University spend on average £47.40 per month on alcohol.

Last modified: 28th January 2020

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