Newcastle’s Eldon Square set for revamp under new plans

29th November 2023 | Jack Oliver

Eldon Square in Newcastle could be redeveloped to create a leisure attraction and a cultural space under new plans drawn up by its management.

The proposals would see 200,000 sq ft of vacant floorspace 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. Plans are already underway for a major national retailer to occupy two floors of the building.

Cormac Hamilton, general manager of Eldon Square, said: “Since taking responsibility for the management of Eldon Square, we have worked hard to ensure that vacant retail space within the Shopping Centre is reoccupied by new retailers wherever possible. However, large units such as the former Debenhams have been purpose-built as department stores, which makes them difficult to re-let unaltered.

“We are confident that we can soon announce the retailer who will be taking two floors within the former Debenhams department store, and we are delighted that the remaining space will also be brought back into productive use. The leisure occupier that we are in advanced talks with is a leader in their field and they will bring something truly unique to Newcastle.”

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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