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The north-east could be set to fall behind other parts of the UK in terms of investment into the region because of a lack of suitable conference venues, it has been claimed.
According to the Allancia Group in Washington, there is currently a dearth of large venues capable of hosting major conferences in the region, meaning many businesses are going elsewhere to hold their events, reports the Gazette.
There needs to be a greater number of large Newcastle venues if the city is to pull in more business from around the world, the group suggested, while other parts of the north-east such as Teeside are lacking in suitable conference facilities.
"If you are talking about a big international conference of 500-plus people, the nearest venue is probably Harrogate or the Newcastle Sage and for an exhibition, Doncaster racecourse," Allancia Group managing director Phil Eadon told the newspaper.
The importance of offering large facilities to businesses has been highlighted recently by the success of the Royal Highland Centre.
It was chosen to host the Scottish Home Improvement and Self Build show and Marlene Cunningham, event director for Eventrix Scotland, said the venue's size and accessibility had been crucial factors in helping it win the prestigious event.