Common Purpose is 30

What will your generation’s legacy be?


In 2032, it will be 150 years since Newcastle was formally granted city status – how will you shape Newcastle’s future?

Newcastle150 is an annual leadership programme that convenes young diverse leaders from across the city to address the question: "How do we ensure that by 2032 Newcastle is a city where all of its young people can reach their potential?"

The inaugural Newcastle150 programme took place from 10-12 March 2020 and was brought to you by Engie, NCG, Newcastle Building Society Community Fund, Newcastle City Council, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Northumbria University and Womble Bond Dickinson. Thank you to Nexus for generously providing transport for the participants across the three days.

If you want to:

  • Connect with other amazing young leaders across Newcastle to make a difference in your city
  • Access senior leaders in Newcastle to have your say on some of the city's challenges that matter the most to you
  • Gain skills that will increase your employability and add to your resume

If so, and you’re 18-25 from the Newcastle area, apply for this free online programmhere!

Councillor Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council

“I am pleased that we have partnered with Common Purpose on this pioneering Legacy programme. Newcastle City Council support all children and young people and help them reach their goals, realize each ambition and maximize their unique potential. We are proud that young people help shape our great city, an approach that has been highlighted through our work to become one of the only UNICEF Child Friendly Cities in the UK. By working with Common Purpose, we can help shape the leaders of tomorrow, people who can cross boundaries and help overcome some of the biggest challenges we face in Newcastle.”

More information

Why take part?

Newcastle150 is your opportunity to come together as a generation and think through what your generation’s legacy will be. As part of a highly diverse group of peers, you will tackle real social challenges facing Newcastle and develop Cultural Intelligence in the process – the ability to cross divides and thrive in multiple cultures. 

What happens on Newcastle150?

Over three days, you’ll join a group of 150 people in Newcastle to tackle a pressing challenge your city faces: This year’s challenge is: How do we ensure that by 2032 Newcastle is a city where all of its young people can reach their potential?

You’ll go out into communities, investigate issues, collaborate, hold difficult conversations and work up ideas. You’ll test, refine and either implement your ideas or present them to leaders in Newcastle.

Newcastle150 is intergenerational, giving you the opportunity to work with around 50 established leaders from across Newcastle, who act as group advisors, speakers and immersion hosts. The established leaders benefit from seeing the world through your eyes – the next generation.

Liz Bromley, Chief Executive, NCG

"It’s overwhelming to see so many people in one place, sharing interests, sharing concerns, sharing personal challenges, but most of all, their ambition for themselves and for this city and region. We need to have our city leaders and key stakeholders, listening to what these young people are saying about the future they want to shape. This is a voice that we must hear."

Assessment results


feel a responsibility to shape the future of Newcastle


feel more confident that their generation can create the legacy they want for Newcastle 


recognize the value in bringing in wider perspectives when making decisions

Programme outcomes

The 2020 group came up with nine ideas to address the challenge:

  • Inspiring Newcastle – Sports and Arts programme 
    Our programme will target 12-17 year olds receiving free school meals, through offering an arts and sports programme which will develop skills they can use for life and improve their employment opportunities.

  • Quarter Life Cafe
    The Quarter Life Cafe partners 18-30 year olds early in their careers with retired residents of Newcastle to tackle the quarter life crisis and loneliness. We would reach out to young people through schools, universities and social media and engage with retired people through the already established V.O.I.C.E. network and charities.

  • Sustain-Ability
    For Newcastle’s young people to reach their potential by 2032, sustainability has to be at the forefront of policy, business, education and innovation. We will hold a series of events that turn sustainability interests into action, by connecting young representatives from small businesses and community organizations, through expert advice and confidence building.

  • NEO Hub
    Local businesses, charities and other organizations can request to have a profile on the site. From here, they can post work experience, volunteering, activities and speaker opportunities. The platform is accessible to everyone, with an initial target audience of secondary schools and educational professionals.

  • Levelling the Playing Field
    Run by young people for young people, we are a network of barefoot professionals with lived experience to level the playing field by connecting vulnerable young people to opportunities in their local community. We will ensure every single young person can reach their potential.
  • Newcastle Young Leaders Network 
    A network of people to bridge gaps between organizational leads and individuals – sharing best practice and skills to improve the workforce and retain skills and staff in the North East. The network will create a safe environment for young people to thrive and grow no matter of their background, gender and age.

  • Education Collaboration 
    Ensuring all young people have equal opportunities to develop employability skills, future aspirations and general life skills. This will be achieved by method of a council coordinated integration of local organizations to deliver weekly sessions in secondary schools. This idea will ultimately be a mutually beneficial relationship.

  • Opportunity Road Show
    We believe that opportunities that exist in Newcastle should be open to all young people, no matter their backgrounds. To reach their full potential, we are proposing a free individualized opportunity event specifically tailored to two separate young school aged groups through the form of an events fair that offer opportunities for career advice, life skills and volunteering opportunities to name a few.

  • Newcastle Legacy Board 
    A platform where organizations of all types in Newcastle come together to improve potential for all young people. We propose Newcastle Legacy Board – a network where all great things happening across the city are communicated by business leaders from all sectors. Creating connections, highlighting opportunities and removing barriers.


Click here to read the full Newcastle150 Impact Report.

Usman Amin, Participant, Newcastle150

"An important aspect of the programme is to not to let the three days just happen, but to continue the work that we’ve been covering. This can be a starting point for bigger and better things in the future."


When? May 20 – 21 and 24 – 25, 2021 (TBC). All sessions will run from 09.30 – 13.30

Where? 4 hours each day online. All sessions are on Zoom

How much? Newcastle150 is free.

Who can apply? Young leaders aged 18-25 living, working or studying in Newcastle.

John Haynes, Managing Director, Engie Services Ltd

"There will always be value in hearing other people’s ideas. The breadth of the group, the different experiences that people bring, the diversity in the group, can only help add to peoples own knowledge and experience, which will serve them all really well on their own leadership journey. I’ve been blown away by the passion, the ambition and the challenge from the young people in the room. It’s been really inspiring and thought provoking."

Volunteer for Newcastle150

We are looking for leaders from all backgrounds to contribute to Newcastle150 – sharing their insight and, in the process, seeing their city or country through the eyes of the next generation. We need speakers, panellists, mentors and immersion hosts. If you want to be a contributor, sign up below.

Header image © PEAK Image Studio