A £260m arena, conference and exhibition centre on Gateshead Quays has moved a major step forward, with the appointment of Sir Robert McAlpine as main contractor for the project.
Ask:Patrizia, Gateshead council's development partner, awarded McAlpine the contract to build the 'game-changing' waterfront conference and events destination.
The development, situated on the iconic Newcastle Gateshead quayside, includes a 12,500-capacity arena; 6,300m2 of conference and exhibition space; two hotels, bars, restaurants, car parking and extensive areas of public realm.
Sheena Ramsey, chief executive of Gateshead council, said: "The appointment of Sir Robert McAlpine brings us a huge step closer to delivering this world class events destination for the region and we're glad to have them on board. This development will act as a catalyst for renewed economic growth, maximising local employment, training and supply chain opportunities. This is about being ambitious for Gateshead, we need everyone in the borough to be able to fulfil their true potential and projects like this create the conditions for them to thrive."
Mark Gibson, managing director for the Scotland and northern region at Sir Robert McAlpine, said: "We're excited to be working on this world class conference and events development on the River Tyne, in a region with a global reputation for its cultural and leisure offer. We bring a wealth of experience and have a highly-skilled, senior team to deliver this fantastic project using the local workforce and subcontractors wherever possible. We are looking forward to making a start as soon as the planning process is completed."
Speaking on behalf of Ask:Patrizia, John Hughes, managing director of Ask Real Estate said: "Sir Robert McAlpine has a reputation for technical excellence and delivering complex developments safely, on time and within budget. We are looking forward to working with them to see this superb facility materialise."
The new complex is set to open in 2023 with a full planning application expected to be submitted in early 2020.