Experience Newcastle

More visitors staying longer and spending more

Guildhall coat of arms

The historic market

Newcastle’s market is an integral part of the town centre offer and contributes to the overall retail experience for local people and visitors to enjoy. The market has been a feature of the town for centuries and remains important both culturally and economically.

Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council and our partners remain committed to the long-term success of the market and feel integrating its development with the management and support of the high street has created significant benefits. Our market is award-winning, highly commended by the National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA).

Action: to build on initial successes and further reinvigorate the historic market to continue to be a vibrant attraction:

  • modernise trading interactions (digital pitch booking and payments)
  • rationalise and improve trading pitches and stalls
  • diversify and increase linked activities, including licenced events
  • support new and young traders


The Guildhall continues to provide a hub for partners to share knowledge and jointly promote and deliver events and attractions. It is the base for Newcastle Business Improvement District (BID) and Support Staffordshire to maintain an accessible presence in the town centre.


There is a range of car parks in Newcastle town centre and our car parking strategy meets the current and future needs of the town centre for visitors, businesses and residents, including those who will live in the town centre. This will help to minimise town centre congestion and improve air quality.

Action: to continue to deliver the short, medium and long-term parking policy for Newcastle town centre:

  • continue to deliver a charging policy which addresses the competing needs of businesses, shoppers and commuters, including discounts for identified times and events
  • build a modern multi-storey car park on the Ryecroft site by 2024
  • demolish and repurpose the outdated Midway multi-storey car park
  • rationalise and improve the remaining car park stock

Strong links with the local businesses

In 2021, Newcastle town centre businesses voted to support a Business Improvement District (BID), which would actively promote the town for everyone's benefit.

As partners, we help BID to deliver its major objectives:

  • support business growth and investment by working in partnership with key stakeholders to enhance Newcastle-under-Lyme as an attractive and forward thinking town
  • create a welcoming and attractive town by building a safe, appealing centre that can be enjoyed by the residents, visitors and people who work in Newcastle-under-Lyme
  • celebrate and promote Newcastle-under-Lyme as a town for all by collaborating to build awareness locally and regionally of its heritage and identity

Adding to the town centre experience

Programmes of work are in progress to deliver on the aspiration to make the town more able to meet future needs and trends, and create a town centre that has something for everyone day or night.

Healthy High Street - understanding trading conditions and acting to generate footfall, build confidence in the surroundings and support local traders. We will engage with key stakeholders via BID to evolve and develop this programme to address issues of concern and take advantage of opportunities as they arise.

We will support businesses in developing online trading and improving social media capability, to put local businesses in a strong position to address changing trading environments.

We will complement Newcastle’s strength in providing a variety of non-retail footfall generators such as cafes, restaurants, bars, leisure venues and space for informal socialising by curating an ongoing programme of events and on-street activities to ensure the town centre is a consistently interesting and exciting place to spend time - a 'destination'.

We will continue, with partners and stakeholders, to positively promote Newcastle-under-Lyme as a destination.

Strong links with the local businesses

In 2021 Newcastle town centre businesses voted to support a Business Improvement District (BID), which would actively promote the town for everyone’s benefit.

As partners, we help BID to deliver its major objectives.

Diversification - reflecting the need to bring forward residential and non-retail employment uses into currently under-utilised or redundant assets, bringing more people into the town centre to live and work to underpin.

We, working with Staffordshire County Council and others, has brought forward the redevelopment of the Ryecroft site. Demolition is complete and the first phase of building towards provision of a mixed use scheme to increase town centre footfall will begin in late 2023.

We have also purchased York Place to enable phased implementation of a masterplan, which will link the Ryecroft development to the town centre with new buildings and a public space.

We have further improved the visitor experience with award-winning town centre public art such as subway tiling and murals, sculptures, exhibitions, floral and sustainable planting displays and scheduled town centre cleansing, including the innovative Town Ranger working across ownership boundaries to tackle environmental blight. Wayfinding has also been improved to key attractions.

Our message to support the changes is focused on visitor experience: "Experience new street markets, experience great independent shops and experience a great night out."

Events add to the experience

In 2023 Newcastle-under-Lyme celebrated the 850th anniversary of the granting of the first Royal Charter with many special events, however there is a varied programme of regular events and attractions, which focuses on engaging town centre businesses for support and to generate visitors.

Regular events include:

  • General Market on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays
  • Castle Artisan Market on 12 Sundays throughout the year (plus one bank holiday)
  • Antique Market on Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • Vegan Festival on 2 occasions
  • Greyhound Gap on 2 occasions
  • Record Fair on 6 occasions
  • Street Food and other bespoke events on 5 occasions
  • Lymelight Festival
  • Jazz and Blues Festival
  • Christmas Light Switch On Event
  • Armed Forces Day
  • Astley Homecoming

Improving the look, feel and safety of the town centre

Working with town centre businesses and the police, and to ensure that the town centre feels and remains safe, we operate a comprehensive, live-monitored CCTV system covering most of the town centre and main subway access points into the town.

We work closely with the police to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour. We have recently introduced a Public Spaces Protection Order covering the town centre to target the low-level disruption that bothers people.

We have opened a safe space in the town centre to help women get home safely during our busy night time economy, and have improved lighting and CCTV in identified areas to make popular pedestrian routes safer.

We also operate a service to identify and support rough sleepers into appropriate accommodation.

Britain in Bloom

The Britain in Bloom campaign is a borough-wide partnership which includes residents, businesses, schools, community groups and a wide range of volunteers. Not just a floral competition, it makes a major contribution to promoting the local economy and increasing civic pride.

We have won a gold award in the small city category of the regional competition for 21 consecutive years and in 2023 won the overall top prize in the RHS Britain in Bloom national finals.

The Britain in Bloom entry has driven improvements to the town centre roundabouts with sustainable planting and art sculptures, as well as refurbishing the fountains on Nelson Place. Local business frontages have improved with hanging baskets and there has been an increase in sustainable planting displays to complement traditional florals in town centre public spaces such as the award-winning Queens Gardens, which also holds a Green Flag award.

Newcastle Town Deal Board

This comprises key partners of the Council, Staffordshire County Council, Aspire, BID, New Vic Theatre, Keele University, the Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group and others. This group sets the strategic direction for the future town centre.

Newcastle Task Force

The Newcastle Task Force co-ordinates the delivery of the action plans in relation to community safety, markets and events, parking, marketing and branding, business support and management of public spaces. Working with partner agencies such as BID, Staffordshire County Council, Aspire and Staffordshire Police, they promote and develop a vibrant town and historic market.