NewcastleGateshead is to host the international European Thyroid Association (ETA) in September 2018, a five-day conference secured on the back of the destination’s strengths in science and healthcare as well as its historic links to the development of thyroid hormone replacement therapy.
The association expects to see 900 delegates from across Europe for the 41st Annual Meeting, pumping an estimated £1.1m into the local economy. The meeting is to be held at Sage Gateshead.
The British Thyroid Association, meanwhile, will hold its 64th Annual Meeting at the city’s Centre for Life in May 2016. It will be a special commemorative meeting for the association, which this year marks the 125th anniversary of the discovery of thyroid hormone replacement therapy.
Simon Pearce, professor of endocrinology at Newcastle University, said: “In 1891, a young Newcastle doctor, Dr George Murray, injected an extract from a sheep’s thyroid gland into a patient with symptoms of thyroid under-activity. Over a period of months, the patient got much better, and now 125 years later around 3% of the population takes thyroid medicines.
“Due to Newcastle’s history and excellence in medical research and through the support the NewcastleGateshead Conference Ambassador Programme, we were able to bid for and win both the British and European Thyroid Associations. We look forward to welcoming delegates from both associations to the city where we will play tribute to Murray’s life-changing medical discovery.”
Paul Szomoru, head of business tourism at NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, added: “We are delighted to be hosting both the British and European Thyroid Associations. NewcastleGateshead is internationally renowned for life sciences, healthcare and sustainability. We’re proud of our history and the industry leading research, which is happening today in our city. Through our Conference Ambassador Programme we were able to support Simon in bidding for and bringing both of these significant events to the destination.”
Newcastle is one of six designated UK Science Cities. The destination is recognised for its strengths in ageing, biomedicine and clinical trials as well as having an extensive pharmaceutical cluster, accounting for a third of the UK’s turnover in pharmaceuticals. Newcastle hospitals also undertook the UK’s largest number of clinical trials in 2015.
Meanwhile, Crowne Plaza Newcastle – Stephenson Quarter has topped the IHG (Intercontinental Hotels Group) league for customer satisfaction, becoming No.1 in the UK mainland and is among the top 10 in Europe. The 251-bed luxury hotel was officially opened last November. Hotel management said it had more than £1m confirmed business on its books and a further £2m holding space going into 2016 and, to date, the hotel has delivered events for more than 10,000 delegates.