Rooftop dining will be introduced. Credit: Royal Pilgrim

Plans in for Eldon Square overhaul

The reconfiguration and redevelopment of the Newcastle shopping centre will introduce a greater proportion of leisure, with two new venues introduced to the mix.

Plans are now lodged with the city council for what is described by its promoters as “a diverse mix of family-oriented leisure, cultural experiences and entertainment”.

The top floor of the former Debenhams department store will be transformed into a food, drink, cultural, art and entertainment hub. This 62,000 sq ft space will include a venue for live music performance, theatre and dance.

A section of the roof will be removed and replaced with a retractable structure, while an external mezzanine roof terrace will also enable visitors to enjoy an open-air eating and drinking experience.

A planning application has been submitted to deliver the required external changes and change of use from retail floorspace.

The second planning application will transform the vacant former Eldon Leisure Centre and other adjoining space to create a family leisure attraction across more than 120,000 sq ft.

Attractions will include batting nets, mini-golf, an electric kart track, e-sports and virtual reality games. These will combine with food and beverage and live entertainment “to provide a completely distinct leisure offer for the city centre”.

External changes are proposed to modernise the Blackett Street frontage of this building to provide a separate ground floor entrance and to introduce a terrace garden overlooking Old Eldon Square.

At 17 acres, Eldon Square is the largest single landholding in the city centre. It currently has around 200,000 sq ft of vacant space, with Debenhams’ departure in 2021 among the most significant.

The development manager is Pradera Lateral. Eldon Square – now controlled by a partnership between the freeholder, Newcastle City Council and intu Debenture, and managed by MAPP – is in detailed discussions with two well-known specialist operators to occupy the new leisure spaces.

Based on the proposed operators’ existing operations elsewhere, the applicants said that the new venues will generate around 375 new permanent full-time equivalent jobs for local people at Eldon Square, alongside 490 jobs during construction, with around £16m added to the city’s economy every year.

Cormac Hamilton, general manager of Eldon Square said: “The community’s response to the cultural and leisure proposals has been overwhelmingly supportive, and it is great to have submitted the planning applications before Christmas. These are genuinely exciting proposals and we believe they will have a positive impact on Eldon Square and the city centre as a whole.

“Currently Eldon Square sustains employment for around 2,000 people. These proposals present the potential to boost employment here by around 20%, equivalent to 375 positions, which has to be good for the city’s economy.”

A consultation was carried out in late November and early December for the project.

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really should be a softplay for kids stupid getting rid of it go karts more for adult unless arcade

By Anonymous

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