Jamie Hardesty

Newcastle lands Escape Key to open new city centre entertainment offering

Newcastle city centre is continuing to host an alternative entertainment niche with the opening of The Escape Key, adding another escape game to its leisure offering.

An escape room is a physical adventure game in which players solve a series of puzzles using clues, hints and strategy to complete the objectives at hand.

An increasingly popular option in adult entertainment especially, players are given a set time limit to unveil the secret plot which is hidden within the rooms. Escape roomsare inspired by “escape-the-room”–style video games.

The Escape Key has leased a total of 2,000 sq. ft. on St. Andrews Street in the Gallowgate with support from Gordon Brown Law Firm LLP (GBLF).

Spread across two floors, The Escape Key offers two specialist themed rooms with a further two rooms set to launch in the New Year.

“Armageddon” sets players the challenge of reactivating a Cold War missile bunker to destroy an asteroid hurtling towards Earth, while “Plague Room” sees players transported back to 1636 Newcastle, where, with half the population dead, the only way to survive is to find a cure for the Black Death.

As well as being a fun activity for groups of friends, families and parties, The Escape Key is available for team building and corporate events.

Teams of employees cooperate to play the games and companies can access The Escape Key’s dedicated business lounge featuring 20 laptops, Wi-Fi and projectors, enabling full-day off-site events at the venue.

The Escape Key is being launched by Rachel and Martin Ashburn, a former IT teacher of the year, building on his extensive experience of running creative robotics workshops for schools and families.

Martin said: “Escape Rooms are new but becoming popular as an indoor activity suitable for all kinds of groups.

“The trend is for increasing realism and as soon as I saw the property overlooking the graveyard I knew it was perfect.

“In fact, it was the building’s location which inspired our Plague Room game. We’ve invested a lot of time and money into making the game rooms authentic and giving visitors the best experience possible.

“We’ve had some really positive feedback from the early birds who have already played the games and we’re hoping our unique setting and great central location will appeal to a wide range of people. It’s good to see that people aren’t avoiding us like the plague!

“This was our first corporate lease and having been recommended to GBLF we were really pleased with the service that they provided.

“Having not gone through this process before their team’s expertise and knowledge helped us to secure a good deal, a smooth close and ensured that nothing was missed.”

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