Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Lofty Ambitions for Tyne Bridge Tower

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Lofty Ambitions for Tyne Bridge Tower

Article excerpt

Byline: COREENA FORD Business writer coreena.ford@reachplc.com @Scoopford

PLANS to transform one of the Tyne Bridge's towers into an events space could see the creation of a rooftop viewing platform with spectacular views.

On last month's 90th anniversary of the grand bridge spanning the Tyne, leading leisure group Tokyo Industries revealed plans to open up one of its two granite towers to the public.

Following several years of negotiation, the firm's founder Aaron Mellor - who first came to the city as an architecture student more than 25 years ago - has secured a lease for the north tower, which was designed to be a warehouse but has been empty for decades.

The first phase could lead to the first floor of the seven-storey structure being transformed into an events space to host weddings, art shows and bar and club events. And new documents filed to city planners, asking for listed building approval, outline how the second phase could give the public access to a rooftop terrace with unrivalled views over Newcastle and beyond.

Subsequent developments could also be explored. Tokyo Industries is the Newcastle group behind a string of more than 30 UK clubs, bars and hotels, including the city's Waterside Hotel, Tup Tup Palace and the Riverside, as well as venues in York, Bradford, Huddersfield, Leeds and Manchester. The firm has stressed this project is worlds apart from its leisure ventures and has been designed, with help from Arca Architects, to give something back to the people of Newcastle.

This project is very much an altruistic one, designed as a creative The first phase involves giving the public access through lifts and a new staircase designed "to be a dramatic sculptural element in the space, and not merely a standard object", cleaning the incubator for creative arts Aaron Mellor first floor space of debris and bird waste and carrying out repairs. …

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