The 12,500-capacity arena is due to open in 2023, and will replace the Utilita Arena, which opened in 1995 on the North bank of the Tyne.
It is hoped that the arena, which is set to be situated between The Sage and The Baltic, will become one of the marquee venues in the redevelopment of Gateshead’s Quayside as well as attracting the very best in music and entertainment acts.
Newcastle University student and Gateshead resident, Ben Mayman said: "Undoubtedly anything that gets added to the quayside will benefit Gateshead local economy, there are already some little gems of pubs and restaurants nearby".
"I have been to the old arena and whilst the gig was good, the arena wasn’t really ideal for musical shows as it wasn’t really designed for good sound quality"
The £260 million complex will also include a conference centre and a 13-storey hotel, which has raised concerns amongst some local residents at the Baltic Quays apartment complex. Some residents feared that the hotel would not suit the architectural aesthetic of the Quayside.
Ben argued: ‘People are more than right to be concerned that they could be somewhat disrupted by the large venue. However, I’m sure there are laws in place to prevent noise pollution and other issues from creating too many issues.’
The project has also undergone a controversial rebranding since its unveiling, as the final designs have been labelled “Newcastle Gateshead Quays”, rather than just “Gateshead” as was the case in the original proposals. The rebranding has been justified by councillors as an attempt to market the project to a global audience using the “Newcastle Gateshead” brand.
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