Tyne & Wear

Bigg Market toilets transformation: New bar images revealed

Artist's impression of the new bar Image copyright WC Newcastle
Image caption Developers have described the bar as a "niche, high-end venue"

Developers transforming disused underground Victorian toilets into a bar have released new images showing how the completed venture will look.

Built in 1898, Newcastle's Bigg Market toilets closed in 2012 due to council budget cuts.

Planning permission for the scheme was granted last year and it has been described as the "final piece in the jigsaw" of the area's £3m facelift.

Developer WC Newcastle Ltd is aiming to open the bar by the end of January.

Restoration work has been completed and the site is ready to be handed over to the firm, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

'Glazed roof'

Cllr Ged Bell, cabinet member for employment and culture at Newcastle City Council, revealed a new glazed roof and ironwork were in place with water and electricity supplies to be connected "soon".

WC Newcastle has said the venue, which will be called Water Closet, will be an "intimately designed and atmospherically lit subterranean bar, in keeping with the Victorian heritage, but fused with a modern outlook and feel".

Council restrictions imposed on its alcohol licence last year mean no more than 50 customers will be allowed in at any time.

Image copyright NCJ Media
Image caption The men's toilets had 18 urinals and five cubicles

Alex Slack, Bigg Market project manager at business development agency NE1 Ltd, said the scheme had "already captured the public's imagination".

He added: "The transformation of the iconic toilet building is the final piece in the jigsaw for the Bigg Market's public realm redevelopment and signals an important milestone in the whole project."

Earlier this week, WC Newcastle announced a plan to turn disused female toilets in nearby High Bridge into a small gin bar.

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