Sir Robert McAlpine has been awarded the contract to build a new £260m (€303m/$334m) waterfront conference and events destination in Gateshead, UK.

The development on Gateshead Quays will feature a 12,500-capacity arena, as well as 6,300 square metres of conference and exhibition space, two hotels, bars, restaurants, car parking and “extensive areas of public realm”.

The contract was awarded to McAlpine by Ask:Patrizia, a joint venture between Gateshead Council, Ask Real Estate and investment development manager Patrizia.

The new complex is set to open in 2023 with a full planning application expected to be submitted early next year.

“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,” Gateshead Council’s chief executive, Sheena Ramsey, said.

“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.”

Last month, ASM Global was confirmed as the venue management provider for the arena, conference and exhibition centre.

HOK is responsible for designing the complex, which will be situated on the banks of the River Tyne.

It is estimated that the development will attract up to 300,000 new visitors to the region every year, boosting the economy by up to £30m annually.

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.”

Image: HOK