Sarah Bailey

Live Theatre Wins Council Backing For £10million LiveWorks Project

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Live Theatre

Live Theatre has finally received the go-ahead for its £10million development filling a long-vacant gap on Newcastle Quayside.

The theatre bought the plot and the adjacent buildings in February, but this week Newcastle City Council finalised planning permission for the scheme.

Newcastle City Planners, who recommended the scheme, said: “The proposal makes good use of the site to introduce not just a new building, but a new enclosed semi-public space to the Quayside. Its links to the Live Theatre also has potential to increase the prominence of this place of interest within the city.”

The scheme involves the construction of a four-storey office building, a creation in stone and glass, described as a “contemporary reinterpretation of a brick warehouse.”

It also includes the creation of a new pocket park with public access from the Quayside, and a public performance space managed by Live Theatre. The refurbishment of a listed almshouse will result in a pioneering children and young people’s writing centre.

Jim Beirne, chief executive of Live Theatre said: “We are delighted that planners had given approval to LiveWorks scheme and are excited to move the project through the archaeological survey and then on to the next phase of design and build. Once complete LiveWorks will provide many future opportunities for businesses, artists, children and young people.”

Once complete the LiveWorks development is hoped to create new streams of revenue for the already successful creative and educational work Live Theatre carries out.

Paul Callaghan, chairman of Live Theatre and Newcastle Gateshead Initiative, said: “This key site has stood empty for too long and we are delighted that we are going to be able to transform it into something so special.”

The project is currently undertaking an archaeological dig on the site, and have already made some interesting discoveries including some Medieval pottery and walls dating from the 13th and 14th centuries. Additional fundraising is currently taking place for the writing centre.