February 20, 2020 @ 18:13 by Richard Dawson
New visual mock-ups of a £260 million leisure development and stadium on the banks of the Tyne have been revealed ahead of a public consultation.
The Gateshead Quays project will be an extensive waterfront development with a 12,500-seat arena, conference and exhibition centre, hotels, bars, cafes and restaurants, including a rooftop bar.
Once completed, it’s hoped that the new development will create more than 1100 jobs and bring 296,000 visitors to the North East each year, as well as contributing an extra £30 million to the North East economy each year.
The new CGI visualisations reveal plans for a bowl-shaped arena, as well as a huge glass-fronted leisure arcade and conference space leading to a 300-bed hotel.
The site, which is located on a currently undeveloped plot of land between the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art and the Sage Gateshead, is being developed by Ask Real Estate and Patrizia UK in partnership with Gateshead Council.
Leisure group SMG Europe has already been confirmed as the operator of the new centre.
The development team behind the proposals is now seeking involvement and feedback from the local community in a public consultation next Thursday, where members of the public will be invited to view the plans.
The development team has appointed the planning and development consultancy Lichfields to facilitate the process.
A focal part of the proposals is a 12,500-seat arena, which will replace the Utilita Arena in Newcastle.
The proposed venue is designed in a bowl shape and features a mixture of fixed, retractable and removable seats, to accommodate a variety of different events.
Under current plans, it’s hoped that the new venue will open in 2023.
The development also includes a new conference and exhibition centre with a large auditorium and stage, which will be directly connected to a new 300-bed hotel.
A spokesman for Lichfields said the development team has already held consultation events for local stakeholders and would now like to welcome the public to be part of the planning process.
The consultation will take place between 3pm and 7pm on February 27 at St Mary’s Heritage Centre in Oakwellgate, Gateshead.