ASM Global signed as venue operator for new Gateshead Quays complex

Further expanding its footprint in the UK, ASM Global (a merger between SMG Europe and AEG Facilities) announced that it has signed to be the venue management provider for a new £260m arena, conference and exhibition centre on Gateshead Quays.

The company signed a long-term agreement with Ask:PATRIZIA, a joint venture between developer, Ask Real Estate and investment development manager, PATRIZIA instructed by Gateshead Council.

The 12,500 capacity arena will be capable of holding major music and cultural events as well as hosting international conference and exhibitions. Designed to bring new audiences to the region it is hoped it will also attract major political events and international delegates. It is estimated that up to 300,000 new visitors will be drawn into the region each year boosting the economy by up to £30 million annually.

John Hughes, Managing Director of Ask Real Estate said: “We are thrilled to have selected ASM Global as our operator. They have a global reputation for excellence and their experience will be key in helping us to develop what will be one of Europe’s key cultural locations. We have been working closely with them to ensure the arena will be able to accommodate the rapid advances in sound and production technology.”

Dan Williams, Head of Development, UK and Ireland PATRIZIA said: “We have been working very closely with Gateshead Council and the wider stakeholders to secure this deal which will create an iconic, landmark destination. We are looking forward to now moving the project to the planning stage and delivering this scheme with ASM Global.”

Commenting on the confirmation of the lease agreement, John Sharkey, Executive Vice President of Europe for ASM Global said of the deal, “We’re delighted to have contracted with Gateshead Council and Ask:PATRIZIA, to bring to market such an ambitious development and move our established business to such an iconic, central location. The North East has always been an important region for ASM Global. We look forward to building upon the success of the Utilita Arena and Whitley Bay Playhouse, and leveraging our regional strength to further develop the events landscape and grow the North East economy.”

Sharkey added, “Our events calendar continues to be incredibly strong in Newcastle and we’ve recently welcomed fantastic new partnerships with Utilita, LNER and Metro Radio, among others. This ongoing commitment and investment, along with the vision and ambition from Gateshead Council and Ask:PATRIZIA, demonstrates a very clear bellwether for the regional economy, and the attractiveness of the events sector in Newcastle Gateshead. We look forward to working with a range of national and regional partners, and leveraging our global partnerships with leading entertainment, product, sports and service providers to cement Gateshead Quay’s reputation as a world-class leisure and cultural destination.”

Confirmation of ASM Global’s appointment as the complex operator will be followed by the development of a detailed design agreement for the entire 10-acre complex followed by a full planning submission in early 2020. It is anticipated that the arena will open by 2023.

Award winning Architect, HOK, was appointed to design the new arena and conference and exhibition centre and has been working on detailed designs for the venue in this iconic riverside location.

John Rhodes, HOK’s Design Principal and Head of Sports and Entertainment, commented: “This is a fantastic site overlooking the River Tyne, sitting directly in front of the Gateshead Millennium Bridge. The masterplan has the unique benefit of combining the new arena, conference and exhibition centre and hotel with the wonderful existing buildings of Sage Gateshead and Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art. This combination will create a world class destination and regeneration legacy, attracting many thousands of visitors annually.”

Councillor Martin Gannon, Gateshead Council Leader added: “The new arena, conference and exhibition centre will enhance our existing world class cultural reputation on Gateshead Quays. Having now firmly secured ASM Global as the operator, it will not only bring a new entertainment experience for visitors, but also bring new jobs, skills and significantly boost the local and regional economy.”

The wider scheme which will be delivered as part of the overall masterplan will include 6,300m2 of conference and exhibition space together with an additional 2,800 m2 of flexible meeting space, hotels, bars, restaurants, car parking and extensive areas of public realm.

HOK are designing the overall masterplan for the site and AHR Architects are designing the state of the art hotel which forms part of the masterplan. The project team also includes: Project Manager and Contract Administrator, Legends; Gardiner and Theobald, QS; ARUP, structural engineers/ M&E and Vectos for transport planning.