‘The Sage’ hit massive inflation roadblock


The Sage arena on Gateshead Quayside update January 2023 Image: Gateshead Council

A “world-class” arena and conference center on the Gateshead Quayside (UK) will not be completed until 2025, Council bosses say.

‘ChronicleLive’ stated that after the recent news that the massive development had won £20m of new backing from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund (LUF), local authority chiefs have confirmed that its opening date has been delayed again. It had originally been hoped that the huge facility, which will be called ‘The Sage’, would have been ready to open this year, before being pushed back to 2024.

NewcastleGateshead Quays is a new arts and leisure destination under development in North England (UK). Sitting on the banks of the River Tyne and framed by views of the historic twin Cities of Newcastle and Gateshead, the £260 million project includes a new 12,500-seat arena, an adjacent conference center, a dual-branded hotel, and large areas of public realm and performance space.

Levelling Up means creating opportunities for everyone across the United Kingdom. The UK Government’s flagship £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund backs projects across the United Kingdom to help communities Level Up.

With a total size of 54,500 sq m, ‘The Sage’ is one of the most ambitious and exciting developments in Newcastle, United Kingdom, run by Los Angeles (US)-based the world’s leading venue management company ASM Global.

‘The Sage’ will include a 12,500-capacity arena, 8,840 sq m of international conference and exhibition space, a dual-branded hotel tailored to suit all tastes and budgets, bars, restaurants and food and drink pop-ups, all with amazing riverside views across one of United Kingdom’s most vibrant cosmopolitan areas, whilst the Performance Square will offer even greater flexibility to host an exciting range of outdoor events and festivals. Located on the banks of the River Tyne, bursting with North East pride, passion and flair, ‘The Sage’ will be a place like no other.

‘ChronicleLive’ further stated that but, with the early stages of construction work on the riverside site having halted while the delayed LUF funding announcement remained uncertain, it will now be 2025 before the new arena is ready. Spiraling costs caused by huge inflation have cast doubt over the future of the project, which is now expected to cost upwards of £350m.

But Gateshead Council leader Martin Gannon insists that the authority is “committed to ensuring that the development will be completed in 2025”.

The Labour Councilor said, “Due to a combination of external factors which are outside the Council and its partners’ control, including the delayed LUF announcement, soaring construction costs, and escalating energy costs and inflation, the completion date will now be extended to 2025. Gateshead Council, the developer and all partners are committed to ensuring that the development will be completed in 2025. We are working to mitigate any further impact on timelines on an ongoing basis.”

Plans for the new complex have already had to be redrawn to cut costs, with two proposed hotels having been removed from the main site and relocated to the corner of the Hawks Road and Quarryfield Road nearby. ‘The Sage’ will sit between the existing Sage Gateshead concert hall and the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art and could create 2,000 new jobs.

It will feature a 12,500-capacity arena that will replace Newcastle’s 11,000-capacity Utilita Arena, an international grade conference center with 17 suites, art exhibition space, bars and restaurants, and new walkways and public space around the Quayside. With Sage PLC having bought the naming rights for the new complex, the existing Sage Gateshead music center next door is due to be renamed.

After the recent LUF funding announcement, Councilor Gannon said, “It’s great that the Government has recognized the benefits of ‘The Sage’ development, especially during the current economic climate. As a Council we are dedicated to ensuring ‘The Sage’ is delivered, so that we can deliver employment opportunities to our residents of Gateshead and beyond. The economic benefits of ‘The Sage’ will radiate out as local businesses and hospitality benefit from the increase of trade.”

Continue to follow Coliseum for latest updates on venues business news. Coliseum is dedicated towards building the best global community of sports and entertainment venue executives and professionals creating better and more profitable venues.

Become a member of the only Global Sports Venue Alliance and connect with stadiums, arenas and experts from around the world. Apply for membership at coliseum-online.com/alliance and make use of the 365Coliseum Business.

Watch 250 member-exclusive videos with valuable tips for your venue

« Previous News:
» Next News:

Advertisement Coliseum Summit News Banner - SGL System
Advertisement Coliseum Summit news banner - NEXO