Newcastle’s Eldon Square revamp plans green lit

15th April 2024 | Jack Oliver

Newcastle’s Eldon Square is set to be redeveloped to create new leisure attractions, after proposals were green lit by Newcastle City Council.

Under the proposals, 200,000 sq ft of vacant floorspace will be transformed into a family leisure attraction, offering sports and entertainment, making use of the former Eldon Leisure Centre site.

The venue – which will comprise around 120,000 sq ft of space – is set to offer arcade games, virtual reality, crazy golf, and electric karting, with a national family leisure operator already lined up to manage the centre.

In addition, the top floor of the now-vacant Debenhams store will be redeveloped into a cultural space for a mixture of food, socialising, art, and music. Last month, it was revealed that Next will occupy 61,000 sq ft of space in the former department store, with the retailer set to open in November 2024.

Once completed, the development is estimated to add about £16m to the city’s economy each year.

Speaking at the time of the application’s submission in November 2023, Stephen Patterson, chief executive of NE1, the Business Improvement District company for Newcastle city centre, said: “This is great news for Newcastle, its residents and visitors to the city.

“Thankfully, the city centre has relatively low vacancy rates and there is strong demand for the right property in the right location. These plans provide an innovative and exciting use of current vacant retail space, that will deliver investment, jobs and perhaps most importantly an uplift on what is currently on offer in the city.”


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