Newcastle-under-Lyme Business Improvement District (BID) has been awarded almost £64,000 by Arts Council England to deliver its award-winning celebration of circus for the next two years.
The Homecoming brings the magic of contemporary circus into the heart of Newcastle town centre for a thrilling day of free outdoor entertainment, from spectacular acrobatics to quirky juggling and hilarious walkabout acts. Last year’s event won a national award for putting the town on the map during the 250th anniversary celebrations of the creation of the modern circus by local man Philip Astley. The event is delivered in association with arts programme Appetite, led by the New Vic Theatre, and is also supported by Newcastle Borough Council.
The Homecoming has been staged annually since 2014 and the £63,800 grant from Arts Council England means it will return this year, on Saturday 29 June, and again in 2020.
A distinctive Newcastle experience
Newcastle BID works to promote the town centre, develop a distinctive Newcastle experience and encourage growth and development. Its thriving events programme has contributed to a sharp rise in footfall over the last few years. Long-standing events like the Lymelight and Newcastle Jazz and Blues music festivals are joined this year by the town centre’s first professional cycle race on 11 August, outdoor cinema screenings on 25 and 26 August, and a regular Grub Club street food night.
Amy Williams, Newcastle BID manager, said: “We have a fantastic range of businesses in Newcastle, great places to eat and drink, and an exciting cultural offering. Our events attract tens of thousands of visitors into the town, delivering a real impact for our businesses and the local economy. We’re delighted to have successfully bid for Arts Council funding again to ensure The Homecoming continues to be an important part of our programme.”
Here’s a look at last year’s fantastic event…
This year’s Homecoming programme will feature a thrilling line-up of modern circus performance popping up throughout the town centre. The programme includes ‘dip’ by Max Calaf Seve, an uplifting, up-tempo show about relationships in which air-twisting trampolining meets live music; Roots by Highly Sprung, a stunning aerial performance that sees performers flip and fly around a six-metre-high tree-like structure; plus many others to be announced. This year also sees the return of The Homecoming By Night, when world-class performers will be bringing the magic of circus in to some of Newcastle’s pubs and bars.
Appetite’s Creative Producer (maternity cover) Tim Hodgson said: “We are excited to once again be bringing Newcastle town centre alive with circus in partnership with Newcastle BID. This year’s Homecoming is truly one for everyone. We welcome people from all backgrounds to come and experience fresh, world-class circus talent on their doorstep and even have a go themselves.”