June 29, 2020 @ 12:02 by Richard Dawson
New details have emerged of the £260 million Gateshead Quays development that will open in winter 2023.
The international conference and exhibition centre will be capable of hosting up to 5000 delegates, with a high level of flexibility across a suite of dedicated spaces.
The centre will include a 6300 sqm pillar-free exhibition hall, which can be divided into three smaller halls.
There will also be a 1620 sqm conference hall, 990 sqm of meeting and events spaces with views of the quayside and its bridges, and a dedicated 1350 sqm outdoor events space.
One of the largest development projects to be undertaken in the North East, Gateshead Quays will include a 12,500-capacity arena, two hotels with 290 bedrooms, bars, restaurants and other public spaces.
Councillor Martin Gannon, leader of Gateshead Council, said: “The Quays development confirms the region’s reputation for world-class events.
“Gateshead Quays will capitalise on a conferencing demand that the region has been unable to meet and showcase the North East’s strengths to a global audience – an events setting like no other in the UK.”
Kerrin MacPhie, head of business events at VisitBritain, said: “The Gateshead Quays development will create a huge opportunity for NewcastleGateshead, increasing its global reach to attract large-scale events from all over the world.
“This development is great for the business events industry in the UK and shows confidence within the market.”
A full planning application has been submitted for the 80,000 sq ft development, positioned between the Baltic and Sage Gateshead, with a decision expected in Autumn.
If agreed at planning, Gateshead Quays will create approximately 2000 jobs and inject a much needed £60 million into the regional economy each year, as well as attracting an extra 300,000 visitors to North East England.
Paul Szomoru, director of business events at NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, added: “It’s fantastic to see these new details of what the international conference and exhibition centre on Gateshead Quays will offer.
“Set to open at the end of 2023, this is a bold confidence boost for Gateshead, Newcastle and North East England as we work towards economic recovery in a post-COVID world.
“There’s no doubt that this is an impressive, world class investment, which will enable us to attract bigger national and international events in sectors that are strategically important for the region.
“Bringing such large-scale events allows us to showcase all North East England has to offer and gives us an opportunity to turn delegates into future leisure visitors, residents and investors.”