New designs for a £260m arena and conference centre on the Gateshead Quays have been made public as an application for full planning permission has been formally lodged.

Developers Ask: Patrizia, a joint venture between Ask Real Estate Limited and investment group Patrizia AG, has been enlisted by Gateshead Council for the scheme which aims to create an 80,000 sq ft centre which will host international conferences and exhibitions as well as music and cultural events.

The development next to the Gateshead Millennium Bridge also aims to create a hotel with roof top bar, restaurants, and outside performance space. An announcement on which company will run the hotel is expected in the next few weeks.

The development – which will see the current operators of the Utilia Arena in Newcastle crossing the river – is aiming to create 1,000 new jobs and add £29m a year to the regional economy.

Joahn Hughes, managing director of Ask Real Estate, said: “We have undertaken a programme of public consultation with local stakeholders and neighbours which has informed our plans for Gateshead Quays and we are pleased that we are now able to take this through to the final stage of the planning process.

“Our appointed contractors Sir Robert McAlpine have been engaging with the technical teams and with the arena operator ASM Global and we have signed-off stage 2 designs for what will be a world-class events destination.

“We are hopeful that the scheme will achieve full planning consent later this year and look forward to delivering this superb facility for the North East as soon as possible.”

Global architecture firm HOK is designing the overall masterplan for the site, plus the conference centre and arena, while AHR Architects is designing the hotel. Other companies involved in the development include Legends International, Lichfields, Gardiner and Theobald, Arup and Vectos.

Originally published in BusinessLive


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