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Plans approved for HOK-designed Gateshead arena

Global architecture and engineering firm HOK has announced that plans for a new arena and conference centre development on Gateshead Quayside have been approved.

Plans for The Sage, which has been designed by HOK, have been developed by Ask Real Estate and Patrizia AG. The plans have now been approved by the Gateshead Municipal Borough Council.

The mixed-use entertainment district will be operated by ASM Global and will be anchored by a 12,500-seat arena, which will host music and cultural events, as well as sports such as boxing, darts and basketball. The development on the banks of the River Tyne will cost around £260m (€311m/$343m) to build.

In January, financial services company Sage acquired naming rights for the development, which is scheduled to open in 2024. The business and entertainment district will be the largest of its kind in the North East and it is estimated the project will provide a £70m annual boost for the local economy, creating 2,000 jobs.

The HOK-designed seating bowl consists of fixed, retractable and removable seats, allowing the venue to transform to accommodate audiences as small as 1,500.

John Rhodes, director of sports and entertainment at HOK, said: “The Sage offers a flexible and responsive design solution for Gateshead that will allow the region to attract high-profile events and conferences while infusing the area, which already boasts rich cultural buildings and spaces, with another gathering space and entertainment destination.

“We’re thrilled to see the project progress through planning and look forward to the catalytic growth that will result from this investment in the city.”

The approved plans included a redesign for the on-site hotel. The Chronicle reports that although the height of the hotel has been cut by two floors at the front, it has been extended and raised by four storeys on the back. The new hotel is also said to feature an open-air roof terrace bar.

Last week, plans were also approved for a new HOK-designed arena in the Welsh capital of Cardiff. The 17,000-capacity arena is being delivered by a consortium that includes Robertson Group, Live Nation and Oak View Group.

Image: HOK