The project is supported by the Getting Building Fund. Credit: NCC

Summer completion for Newcastle public realm schemes

Improvements to Ridley Place and Saville Row in the city centre are expected to be finished in time for the summer months.

Funded through the government’s Getting Building fund, the programme is intended to increase dwell time and create more family-friendly areas.

Ridley Place is described by Newcastle City Council as home to a variety of businesses, independent shops and cafes that collectively will offer a new destination for the city.

NCC said it has worked closely with businesses during the works, most recently supporting the design of a series of murals that will brighten a number of exposed walls on the street, the first being painted by a local artist on the exterior of Zapatista in the next few weeks.

This will be followed by further artwork in the coming months, all contributing to the identity and culture of the street.

New chain lighting across the street will illuminate the area and offer opportunities for artwork and other installations to be displayed. A pocket park will be created near to Northumberland Street, providing a place to relax and enjoy the new surroundings.

Saville Row has been designed with families in mind, with relaxed seating and planting giving the feeling of a garden located just off the city’s main shopping street. As well as new seating that provides a place to spend time away from the hustle and bustle of Northumberland Street, there are future plans to introduce kiosks, offering alternative trading opportunities on the street.

The designs for Saville Row are influenced by the works of Thomas Bewick.

Cllr Alex Hay, cabinet member for a resilient city at NCC, said: “I’m pleased that the work on these two streets will soon be complete and am looking forward to seeing them fully reopened to the public.

“As an authority, we know it’s important that we provide the right environment for small and independent businesses to grow, and both these streets will offer this. These businesses are important to Newcastle’s economy and help to create jobs and opportunities for residents.

“Ridley Place and Saville Row will have new planting, trees, and more greenery, supporting our drive for a greener, more sustainable city and contributing to our ambition to become carbon neutral. I hope they will both be enjoyed by both local people and visitors to the city for years to come.”

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