061822:Balmbra's Cloth Market Maybury Malcolm 1995
Image Source: Newcastle Libraries
Balmbra’s on the Cloth Market is set to be restored with support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, administered by NE1 Ltd.
Jane Imrie

Transformation of ‘iconic’ Newcastle venue adds to ongoing Big Market revamp

The transformation of an ‘iconic’ venue in the centre of Newcastle is the latest project in the rejuvenation of the city’s Bigg Market.

Balmbra’s on the Cloth Market is set to be restored with support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, administered by NE1 Ltd.

Once a music hall and pub - and referenced in Geordie song The Blaydon Races - the venue at 6-8 Cloth Market was damaged by fire in 2014.

Now owned by property specialist Malhotra Group, the venue will see its frontage restored, with reproduction signage of the original from the 1900s.

Inside the building, a pop-up bar will initially be created to bring the building back into use while further restoration work is planned and completed.

Alex Slack, project manager for Bigg Market, commented: “The public hasn’t been able to enjoy Balmbra’s for years. Whilst we would ideally like to see the full restoration of the dance hall, this interim redevelopment and pop up bar will bring the building back into public use and will go some way to stopping the rot and allowing further disrepair.

“Balmbra’s plays an important and significant role in Newcastle’s history and in NE1’s Bigg Market redevelopment programme as it seeks to build upon the progress made on the Cloth Market.

“Pumphrey’s at the top of the Cloth Market was the first building to receive a grant from the Heritage Fund and Balmbra’s, the penultimate building on the street, will hopefully catalyse further improvements.”

Meenu Malhotra, founder and chairman of the Malhotra Group, added: “We are delighted to be receiving support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and NE1. Having previously completed the restoration of Pumphreys we are excited to begin the next chapter in Balmbra’s rich history.

“We remain committed to a full restoration in due course but as an interim measure we want to see the building back in use. We will be working hand in hand with NE1 and the City Council to ensure the project is carried out appropriately and sensitively.”

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