Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Billionaire Brothers' Big Plans for Former Fire Station

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Billionaire Brothers' Big Plans for Former Fire Station

Article excerpt

Byline: Laura Hill Reporter @laurahillnews

PLANS to convert a landmark city centre building into a hotel, bars and a restaurant are a step closer after a multi-million pound deal to move Newcastle Magistrates' Court was revealed.

The former police station on Pilgrim Street was once home to Northumbria Police and Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue, as well as the city's magistrates' court.

Now proposals - which were weighted on the court's closure - look set to move forward.

The Grade-II listed building was sold for around PS455,000 to the British Virgin Islands-based arm of Motcomb Estates, owned by the Reuben Brothers, two of the richest men in the world.

Under a shake-up of Newcastle Civic Centre, both Newcastle Civil and Family Court will move to the council headquarters with Newcastle Magistrates' Court moving into the Crown Court on the Quayside - freeing up the Pilgrim Street site for unimpeded development.

Commercial property agent GVA has started to market the site and hopes to attract a hotel chain, shops and restaurants to change the area into a 'retail and leisure quarter'.

The billionaire brothers' firm also owns Bank House Square, the derelict buildings and land next to the former police station, bringing the total amount of city centre land the pair own to more than 26 acres - on just one street.

Ray Minto, director of land and development at GVA, said: "This is an exciting opportunity for an operator partner to bring forward a high-quality hotel and food and beverage offer, which isn't currently provided within Newcastle's city centre leisure offer.

"The development forms part of a programme of regeneration on Pilgrim Street extending from the Swan House roundabout up to Northumberland Street."

Newcastle City Council said Pilgrim Street is one of the most strategically important city centre regeneration areas in the north of England, and the authority has prioritised its redevelopment. …

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