Tyneside Cinema work
Tom Keighley

Work starts on £1.3 million Tyneside Cinema redevelopment

Work has started on the £1.3 million redevelopment of the Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle city centre.

An empty shop unit on the Cinema’s ground floor, which was originally The Silk Shop and most recently Barclays Bank, will be transformed by North East construction company Northern Bear into a new Bar Café with an entrance on Pilgrim Street.

The Cinema’s existing bar will also be recreated as a unique video art gallery.

Newcastle City Council Leader Cllr Nick Forbes was at Pilgrim Street this week to meet Northern Bear and see construction work begin.

Northern Bear will be working on the ground floor throughout the summer and the Tyneside Cinema Bar Café will be open for business in early autumn 2014.

The firm will then transform the Tyneside’s existing bar on the third floor into a fourth cinema screen, which will be an exciting video art gallery by day and an intimate 40-seat cinema screen by night.

Mark Dobson, chief executive for Tyneside Cinema, said: “We are thrilled to be working with Northern Bear on the redevelopment of the Cinema, which is being made possible thanks to funding from the Arts Council, several Trusts and Foundations, and by the overwhelming generosity of our audiences who are continuing to donate to our appeal.

“We’re delighted that the Council leader is here today to see the start of work. Newcastle City Council is a longstanding supporter of Tyneside Cinema and we are grateful to the Council for a loan of up to £700k which has been made available for this project.“

Newcastle City Council Leader Cllr Nick Forbes said: “I’m a huge fan of the Tyneside Cinema, which is one of the greatest cultural assets in the city and is loved by generations of film fans. The Tyneside makes a huge contribution to the cultural and economic vitality of Newcastle.

“This work wouldn’t have happened without the vision and commitment of the Board, management and staff and I’m delighted that the Council is actively supporting the next phase of its development.”

Neil Jukes, director for Northern Bear said: “This project is key to the continued growth of Northern Bear in the North East. Our very experienced refurbishment team are looking forward to turning the plans for the redevelopment of the Tyneside Cinema into reality on site, working closely with the full team to ensure the end product is in keeping with the high standards of finishes throughout the much-loved existing building which is an important part of Newcastle’s heritage and the city’s vibrant cultural landscape.”

To find out more about the redevelopment or to make a donation to the cinema appeal, please visit www.tynesidecinema.co.uk/appeal.

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