Tyne & Wear

Gateshead Quays arts and leisure complex design revealed

Artist's impression of the planned development on Gateshead Quays Image copyright HOK
Image caption Gateshead Council forecasts the complex will attract almost 300,000 visitors a year

The design of a planned new arts and leisure complex next to the River Tyne has been unveiled.

The Gateshead scheme, first announced last summer, will include a 12,500-seat concert venue, conference centre and two hotels.

Sitting between the Sage music centre and Baltic art gallery, it is estimated it will cost £200m-£250m.

Once completed in 2023, it will lead to the closure of Newcastle's Metro Radio Arena.

Construction on the site - currently used as car parking- was initially expected to be completed by 2021, but has now been pushed back.

'Innovative and striking'

Councillor Martin Gannon, leader of the Labour-controlled authority, described the development as a "game-changer not just for Gateshead but for the region".

He added: "It needs to be as innovative and striking as the suite of visionary waterfront developments... so together with our development partners and architects HOK, we have come up with this.

"It is one of the most exciting development opportunities in the UK today. I think it's absolutely the right thing to do in this location."

Image copyright HOK
Image caption The concert venue will be operated by SMG Europe, which currently runs Newcastle's Metro Radio Arena

Gateshead Council previously said it will invest £25m in the project with the rest of the money coming from the private sector.

John Rhodes, of architects HOK, described it as "one of the most amazing river sites in Europe".

A formal planning application is expected to be submitted early next year.

Plans for the future of the Metro Radio Arena site, which opened in 1995 and is run by SMG Europe, have not been confirmed.

However, Newcastle City Council announced earlier this year a potential developer had entered into an exclusivity arrangement.

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