Dazzling new images released of new £260million arena complex in North East

Stunning new images of a £260million arena complex on the Gateshead Quayside have been revealed.

By Daniel Holland
Wednesday, 26th June 2019, 3:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 26th June 2019, 4:37 pm
Picture c/o HOK
Picture c/o HOK

The huge waterfront development will include a new 12,500-seat arena, a conference and exhibition centre, hotels, and restaurants.

The “iconic” venue, hailed as one of the most exciting in the country, will act as a replacement for the Utilita Arena on the other side of the River Tyne and is expected to open in 2023.

Picture c/o HOK

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And the latest concept images revealed on Tuesday give a first glimpse of the inside of the new arena and also showcases a striking new design for the surrounding leisure and entertainment complex.

It will be located on land between the Sage Gateshead and the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art.

These latest designs come after months of talks between council bosses and investors to secure the cash needed for the development.

Venue management group SMG Europe, which currently runs the Utilita Arena, was also formally confirmed today as the operator of the new centre.

Picture c/o HOK

Gateshead Council leader Martin Gannon said: “This is an exciting step forward for Gateshead and North East England. 

“Working with SMG is a game changer for the project and for this landmark site. It will build on our existing iconic developments on Gateshead Quays creating a truly world-class cultural, events, entertainment and business destination. 

“This development is a catalyst for regional growth within the retail, hotel and leisure sectors.”

It is hoped that the development can boost the regional economy by around £30million a year, attract an extra 296,000 visitors to the North East, and create 1,140 new jobs. 

John Sharkey, executive vice president of SMG Europe, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Gateshead Council on this exciting scheme, to move our established business across to such an iconic, central location. The North East has always been an important region for SMG and we look forward to building upon the ongoing success of the Utilita Arena and Whitley Bay Playhouse, to further develop the events landscape and strengthen the North East economy.

“Our events calendar continues to be incredibly strong in Newcastle and we’ve recently welcomed fantastic new partnerships with Utilita, LNER and Metro Radio, among others. 

“This ongoing commitment and investment, allied to the vision and ambition from Gateshead Council and AskPatrizia, demonstrates a very clear bellwether for the regional economy, and the attractiveness of the events sector in NewcastleGateshead. We look forward to working with a range of National and regional partners, to bring more entertainment, conferencing and exhibitions to Gateshead Quays and cement its reputation as a world-class leisure and cultural destination.”

A planning application for the complex is expected to be submitted this autumn.

Paul Szomoru, of the NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, said that the new venue would provide a “very special backdrop for any event, exhibition or conference”.

Newcastle City Council has been tight-lipped over what the future will hold for the Utilita Arena site once its replacement opens, despite having announced last year that it had entered into an exclusivity agreement with a potential developer.