A business entrepreneur also known for being a ‘Dragon’ and a TV star repair guru are among the inspirational guests set to motivate and excite innovators at Northumbrian Water’s Innovation Festival next month (JUL).

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Fresh from the Den, Sara Davies MBE will be opening the famous festival of creativity with an inspiring talk all about how she has needed to innovate in order to become one of the UK’s most successful businesswomen.


During her session at Newcastle Racecourse, she will also be discussing how she founded her multi-million-pound company Crafter’s Companion while studying for a Business Management degree at York University. She will also give innovators an insight into her successful stint on Strictly Come Dancing.


Sara will be joined on the line-up by the brilliant Jay Blades MBE, furniture restorer and eco-designer – with a passion for sustainability, social enterprise and inclusion. As well as being known as everyone’s favourite furniture up-cycler from Repair Shop, Jay also recently touched the hearts of the nation with his documentary ‘Learning to Read at 51’ which shows how he innovated despite struggle throughout his career.


Joining the star-studded line up during the three-day event are Foxdog Studios - a double act comprised of IT professionals-turned-comedians Lloyd Henning and Peter Sutton. Combining comedy, computer programming and rock music, Foxdog Studios are making a name for themselves as one of the most innovative acts to emerge on the circuit.


Alongside the headliners will be an assortment of other exciting acts and activities, including a gospel choir and slam poets Harry and Chris.


Angela MacOscar, Head of Innovation at Northumbrian Water, said: “As anyone who has ever attended our festivals knows, there is a lot of hard work that goes into coming up with the solutions to these big problems, which is why it’s important for us to get some inspirational people and motivating voices to help us along.


“We’re really excited about this year’s guests, they have all experienced first-hand the ups and downs of innovation and will all have some fantastic insights and advice to share with festival goers.


“The lightening talks by our guests are often one of the highlights of the festival and really bring the event to life. It’s going to be fantastic.”


Each of the sessions are completely free to attend at Newcastle Racecourse between 12-14th July. To register for the Innovation Festival, go to – www.innovationfestival.org.