June 24 2019 @ 12:58 by Alison Cowie
One of Newcastle’s most historic buildings, which has more recently become an events destination, is planning to expand its offering further on the back of significant demand.
The Secret Tower, which opened in late 2016, has seen huge levels of success and has established itself among the region’s premium events destinations, with demand for weddings and corporate events often outweighing capacity.
The Grade I listed building, which dates back to the 1200s, has received six-figure investment from owner Kevin Radcliffe to fully restore the unused site, with further investment planned to help it continue to grow.
The venue has so far benefitted from two new kitchens, an in-house chef and events manager being appointed, and the floor of its main room is resurfaced every week. A further kitchen, situated in a shipping container within the existing site, is also set to be created in the coming months, subject to planning permission.
Kevin Radcliffe sees the new appointments at the Secret Tower as being particularly significant, with Tom Robertshaw – formerly a head chef at Fresh Element – and highly respected events director Tracey Tickle both joining. Tracey has helped to oversee a number of major events in the North East, including Prince William’s visit to the Baltic last year.
And after recently securing its own premises licence, which enables The Secret Tower to increase the number of events it can host, plans are now in place to increase its bookings from the corporate market both regionally and nationally.
The Secret Tower – which was named due to its little-known presence within Newcastle city centre – has hosted a number of exclusive private events from major UK businesses, putting it on the corporate radar nationally, and was also a key events venue during the Great Exhibition of the North last year.
Kevin added: “We have seen huge demand for weddings and from corporate bookings ever since we opened, but we really want to target the business market further as we see great scope for expansion there. We have hosted a number of exquisite corporate events and banquets for businesses working around the country, but the reality is that, to many companies in the North East and Newcastle, we are still a secret.
“With our new licence, which we secured with the ongoing support of Sarah Smith at Sintons, we are able to increase the level of events we are able to hold, and that gives us the ability to really step it up. We have invested significantly in making The Secret Tower a premium venue, and with our in-house chefs and their ability to create bespoke menus for every occasion, from fine dining to informal street food, alongside our capability to organise the very best weddings and events corporate and private clients, we can host any occasion.”
Sarah Smith, head of licensing at law firm Sintons, said: “Kevin has transformed this venue from a disused building to one of Newcastle’s most sought-after venues, and The Secret Tower has established itself as one of the key players in the city’s premium events market. Through securing this premises licence for the premises, allowing the venue to sell alcohol and provide entertainment, it gives Kevin the scope to expand his events offering even further. We wish him the very best of luck for the continued success and development of this superb venue, which is a true hidden gem in Newcastle.”