The 3,000sqm venue would sit alongside music and arts destination The Sage Gateshead and would hold music and cultural events as well as conferences and exhibitions. Arts Council England handed the plans a ‘stage one’ pass which will lead to a detailed study and a possible £10 million funding for the project.
The £30 million venue would be built on a car park next to the Sage. The venue says there is huge untapped demand to hold conferences in the area and the new facility could increase the number of large music and entertainment events in the region by 60 a year.
Anthony Sargent, general director of the Sage, said: "Ever since opening The Sage Gateshead in 2004 we’ve wanted the capacity to capture more of the world’s largest international conferences and also to present major music and entertainments events with today’s top musical stars to larger audiences. This Arts Council vote of confidence in the project is a key step in that journey."
Work is currently underway on the £150m regeneration of central Gateshead, along with regeneration of the centres of nearby Felling, Birtley and Blaydon.
Jane Robinson, chief executive designate of Gateshead Council said: "This facility will be the keystone of the next big leap forward in our visitor economy. With this venue will come hundreds of jobs and millions of pounds of investment into our local economy. The significance of this announcement cannot be overestimated."
Alison Clark-Jenkins, regional director of Arts Council England, said: "If successful, this proposal will herald the next chapter of culture-led growth and increase the viability and resilience of The Sage Gateshead and enhance the cultural life on the Gateshead quayside."
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