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Former Newcastle United boss Freddy Shepherd bids to rebrand historic landmark

Freddy Shepherd has announced plans to rename the dilapidated Palace of Arts in Exhibition Park to St James’ Hall, in tribute to the famous boxing ring formerly at St James’ Park.

After buying the property in 2012, the offshore oil tycoon aims to bring back the fighting spirit of former boxing value St James’ Hall, the site of which is now home to St James’ Metro station.

Freddy has also expressed interest in staging food festivals and music events at the site.

In an interview with the Chronicle, Freddy said: “I spent much of my childhood and younger years at the boxing ring and have some incredible memories.

“I watched some of the world’s greatest boxers and some of the best-home grown talent around. It was a proud place to be with a great reputation.

“I hope that by changing the name of the Palace of Arts we can bring back an important piece of Tyneside’s heritage.”

The property, which has remained empty for six years, once attracted several million visitors and has been home to various tourist attractions over the years including the Museum for Science and Engineering and later on the North East Military Vehicles Museum.

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