Newcastle's former Co-op store redevelopment starts

Artist's impression An artist's impression of how the new development will look

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Work on a £17m project to turn a former "landmark" Co-op department store in Newcastle into retail and leisure outlets is under way.

The Grade II listed art deco building on Newgate Street, had been closed since 2007, though the food hall stayed open until 2011.

Now, it is being transformed into a 184-bed Premier Inn, along with retail and leisure units and an NCP car park.

The development is expected to be completed in December.

Interserve Plc, which is managing the project, said it will provide more than 450 jobs locally and "boost" local businesses.

A spokesman said: "It is great to see many of the iconic features of the building being sensitively replaced or restored while fully modernising the building for future tenants."

The six-floor building was bought by the National Grid UK pension scheme in March.

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