Gateshead Council’s planning committee has approved plans for a £260m regeneration scheme based around the development of a 12,500-seater events arena.
The scheme, which sits on the Newcastle-Gateshead waterfront at Gateshead Quays, also includes a conference/exhibition centre, restaurants, a hotel and large areas of outdoor realm and performance space.
The plans were submitted by Gateshead Council’s Anglo-German development partner Ask:Patrizia, which has appointed Sir Robert McAlpine to build the 54,500 sqm scheme, designed by HOK Architects.
Site enabling work will start before the end of the year with main construction expected to start in March 2021. The new complex is scheduled to open in 2023.
ASM Global will operate the campus, which includes a 29,000 sqm arena and more than 7,000 sqm of flexible event space.
Gateshead Council leader Martin Gannon said: "We’ve wanted to revitalise this key site for a long time. Our long-term aspiration has always been to bring internationally recognisable facilities of this scale to not just Gateshead but the entire region.
“This project is transformational, and today’s decision signals confidence in the northeast. Newcastle Gateshead Quays will be a global leader in entertainment, leisure, and hospitality but most importantly it is about creating new employment and training opportunities for thousands at a time when they are badly needed. Despite the current challenges, we need to remember the worth of the events industry."
John Hughes, managing director of Ask Real Estate, said: “We have worked closely with the council and the wider stakeholders to ensure this regeneration scheme delivers maximum benefit to the wider region and will put this iconic waterfront on the map internationally. We have brought together a world-class team of designers, architects and operators to deliver this scheme which will be one of Europe’s key cultural locations. We look forward to now starting construction work and bringing these superb public facilities to life.“