Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Shops in a Box Agreed for a Prime Plot of the City Centre

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Shops in a Box Agreed for a Prime Plot of the City Centre

Article excerpt

Byline: KALI LINDSAY Reporter

A PRIME city centre plot near one of Britain's busiest shopping streets is to be home to a 'box park' planners have agreed.

Danieli Holdings will use 50 disused containers to create the park on the former Odeon site on Newcastle's Pilgrim Street.

It will include a collection of more than 50 independent cafes, bars, restaurants and shops inside the boxes, creating 500 jobs.

The PS1m scheme was given the goahead at a meeting of Newcastle City Council's planning committee yesterday.

It is hoped it will provide a platform for a multitude of North East start-ups, creating and sustaining jobs.

The Newcastle firm previously transformed the site into a winter wonderland with Hadrian's Tipi at Christmas. Now, the company will extend its lease for the space from April next year until 2021.

And members unanimously voted in favour of the plans.

Coun Hilary Franks raised concerns about the impact the temporary scheme would have on the long-term future of the site.

She said: "The worry of me is if this proves kind of profitable to the actual owner of the site then they will not focus on replacing it with a permanent building."

But planning boss Kath Lawless said it could help convince people a retail offering works there,.

She said: "I think this shows the city is serious about developing that area, and bringing life and activity back."

The assistant director of planning said there were ongoing talks with the owner about the future.

But added: "These are not going to come to fruition for a few years. What this does is bring activity to the city centre on a temporary basis while a long-term solution is developed."

Councillors were told if the lease was extended in the future it would have to come to the planning committee for approval. …

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