Bigg Market redevelopment
Alex Slack, John Gibson, Paul Barrett and Abdul Wali.
Rebecca Wayman

Popular 1980s Viz restaurant part of next phase in Newcastle's Bigg Market redevelopment

NE1 Ltd has revealed 26 Cloth Market as its latest property to receive a restorative repairs grant.

Part of the continuous Bigg Market renovation project - supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund - the building, known as restaurant Koh-I-Noor, is now being redeveloped with work currently underway.

Construction work will see the existing shop-front fascia removed and taken back to structural openings before the eventual installation of a traditional shop front befitting the building’s history and heritage.

The restaurant, which turns 50 this year, was immortalised in the adult comic Viz in the 1980s and starred in the Viz film.

Current owner Mr Abdul Wali has owned the business for 20 years. He said: “There is a lot of refurbishment and construction work going on in the area and NE1 are doing a very good job here.

“The famous Bigg Market will come back with a lot of new bars, restaurants and cafes and this is already starting to happen.”

The works will include: the reinstatement of stall risers; the introduction of carved pilasters; full-height arched windows and new signage and shop fronts.

The work is anticipated to take between three to four weeks and will continue the progression of the Cloth Market. Koh-I-Noor will remain open during the works.

NE1 Ltd’s Bigg Market project manager, Alex Slack, added: “26 Cloth Market has always been one of the key deliverables for this project. The Cloth Market has seen the worst of the decline over recent years.

“With recent improvements to Pumphreys and the arrival of newcomer The Market Shaker, it is great to be able to progress work along the street.

“26 Cloth Market is a beautiful building but the existing shop front belies this, the installation of appropriate period features and the reinstatement of windows will breathe new life into the property and contribute to an ever-improving streetscape.”

Mawson Kerr architects has led on the design work which will be implemented by contractor Historic Property Restoration.

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