Thumbs-up for Gateshead Quays project



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Newcastle Gateshead Quays update November 2020 Image: ASM Global

The local authorities have given the thumbs-up for construction to start on the £260m Gateshead Quays (UK) development, which will encompass a 12,500-capacity arena to be run by ASM Global – a venue and event management company based in Los Angeles, United States, specializing in managing stadiums, convention centers, theaters, and unique venues.

Construction is set to begin in March 2021, with the venue to open in late 2023. Site enabling work will start before the end of the year.

Gateshead Council’s planning committee recently greenlighted the proposals submitted by its development partner Ask: PATRIZIA.

Gateshead Quays will comprise a cutting-edge design 12,500 capacity arena, conference, banqueting and exhibition spaces, plus two on site hotels offering more than 300 bedrooms.

The Quayside is an area along the banks (quay) of the River Tyne in Newcastle upon Tyne (the North bank) and Gateshead (South bank) in the North East of England, United Kingdom.

The rehabilitation scheme, to be built by the NewcastleGateshead waterfront at Gateshead Quays, will boast 29,000 sqm area venue for entertainment and sports alongside international conferences, meetings and exhibitions as well as festivals and cultural events. Media sources stated that boxing, darts and basketball are among the sports set to be staged in the arena.

The design will be lent by eminent design practice HOK Architects for the scheme which is 54,500 sqm in total and will be built by Sir Robert McAlpine – a private British engineering company. HOK has designed the overall blueprint for the site, conference and exhibition center and arena while multiaward winning architecture and building consultancy practice AHR Architects are designing the state-of-the-art hotel.

Apart from the venue, the development will feature a purpose-built conference and exhibition center, restaurants, a dual branded hotel and large areas of outdoor realm and performance space. It is anticipated that it will attract more than 338,000 additional visitors to the region each year.

Tom Lynch, Director, Business Development (Europe) for ASM Global, stated, “This ambitious and transformational development will create a genuinely unique events campus with an iconic waterfront location. ASM Global has enjoyed over 25 years of success in the North East and we look forward to leveraging our global and local partnerships with leading entertainment, sports, corporate, convention and exhibition event producers, to cement NewcastleGateshead’s reputation as a sought-after business, leisure and cultural destination.”

It is estimated the regeneration scheme will lead to the creation of around 2,000 new jobs in the region, giving a £60m annual push to the local economy.

“We’ve wanted to revitalize this key site for a long time. Our long-term aspiration has always been to bring internationally recognizable facilities of this scale to not just Gateshead but the entire region,” said Martin Gannon, Gateshead Council leader.

“This project is transformational, and the decision signals confidence in the North East. NewcastleGateshead 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. We look forward to opening the venue late 2023,” Gannon added.

The scheme includes elevated areas with sweeping and stunning views across the River Tyne and 40 new seating areas as well as cycle provision across the site and capacity for electric vehicle charging points within the Council’s new multistory car park. It will also connect directly to Gateshead’s district energy network.

Speaking on behalf of Ask: PATRIZIA partnership, John Hughes, Managing Director, Ask Real Estate, commented, “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,” Hughes added.

Hughes continued, “The arena, hotel and conference center completes this iconic waterfront location and will not only create jobs but will also provide the people of NewcastleGateshead with an exciting new leisure destination and an avant-garde music venue where they can see some of the world’s greatest bands perform right at their doorsteps.”

Dan Williams, Head of Development, UK and Ireland PATRIZIA, added, “The scheme is designed with biodiversity and sustainability at its core and we have focused on the creation of superb outdoor spaces as well as delivering the new buildings and associated infrastructure. This will be especially important as we continue to deal with the legacy of COVID and the increased need for well-designed outdoor spaces and walkways.”

Tom Lynch, Director, Business Development, Europe for ASM Global, added, “This ambitious and transformational development will create a genuinely unique events campus with an iconic waterfront location. ASM Global has enjoyed over 25 years of success in the North East and we look forward to leveraging our global and local partnerships with leading entertainment, sports, corporate, convention and exhibition event producers, to cement NewcastleGateshead’s reputation as a sought-after business, leisure and cultural destination.”

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