Alliance of local employers launch plan to make Newcastle a Living Wage City

A coalition of local businesses, charities and public sector organisations today launched a plan to substantially increase the number of accredited Living Wage employers in Newcastle.  

Making Newcastle a Living Wage City

The ‘Making Newcastle a Living Wage City’ Action Group has today been recognised by the Living Wage Foundation. Their Living Wage City plans were celebrated at an event held at Newcastle United’s St James Park stadium.  

The Newcastle Living Wage City Action Group is an alliance of some of the city’s major businesses, institutions, Tyne and Wear Citizens. All members are Living Wage Employers, and include Newcastle United FC, Newcastle City Council and Newcastle University.  

There are currently 174 Living Wage employers based in Newcastle, all committed to paying their staff the real Living Wage.  

Accredited employers in Newcastle include Newcastle United FC, Newcastle Hospitals, Bellway Homes, Citizens Advice, The Town Mouse pub and many others.  

Research published last month found that the North East of England has the highest levels of low pay in the UK (15.9%) and 170,000 jobs paying below the real Living Wage.  

The council’s Cabinet member for Resources, Cllr Paul Frew, said: “We know that economic conditions are tough for employers, and becoming a real Living Wage employer is a big step. But it is one of the most important tools we have in our drive to tackle the poverty that blights our city. 

“We call on all employers across Newcastle to recognise and address the issues of low pay within their workforce and across their supply chains, and to register as real Living Wage employers if they can. 

“Paying the Living Wage is good value for employers who want a motivated, secure, and stable workforce, so it makes good economic sense for them too.” 

Katherine Chapman, Director of the Living Wage Foundation, said: “It’s great to see major local employers in Newcastle coming together to tackle in-work poverty. This is an ambitious plan to increase the number of Living Wage jobs in the city, and ultimately make Newcastle a Living Wage City. The North East has the highest levels of low pay in the UK and, with living costs continuing to rise, this work has never been more important. 

“We hope to see many more employers in the area commit to paying a real Living Wage over the coming years to provide thousands more workers and families with security and stability during these challenging times.” 

Hannah Cooper, Research and Campaigns Manager of Citizens Advice Newcastle and co-chair of the Newcastle Living Wage Action Group, said: “At Citizens Advice Newcastle we are seeing growing numbers of people who are in work and struggling to afford the essentials. Every day our advisers see people forced to make difficult choices - about what bills will go unpaid, who to ask for money and what essentials to go without. 

“Low pay is one of the biggest drivers of poverty for those we advise. Our research shows that, of all the households we see in a negative budget, one in three include someone who is in work, and more than half of these households include someone who is working full time.  

“Local employers paying people fairly for the work they do, based on the real cost of living, is essential to turn the tide of in-work poverty.” 

If you have questions about the Newcastle Living Wage City Action Group or want to get involved, please email