Plans for a 460 ft observation wheel on Newcastle’s Spillers Quay have been approved. The wheel is expected to support hundreds of jobs and attract thousands of visitors to the city.
Developer World Wheel Company initially revealed CGIs of the project in October 2018 and submitted formal plans with Newcastle City Council in April.
Creating up to 800 jobs, the Giants on the Quayside development will span 344,445 sq ft. The Whey Aye will be 16 ft taller than the London Eye, making it the tallest observation wheel in Europe.
The scheme will also feature a new destination food and beverage experience called The Giant’s Quay, a family entertainment centre, sport deck and virtual golf club called The Quayside Golf Club.
The development was considered in two stages by Newcastle’s planning committee which looked at the wheel and associated buildings, and an associated large screen.
The wheel was approved with conditions, and a decision on the screen, which had been recommended for refusal, has been deferred to a later planning meeting.
In partnership with Newcastle City Council, a public competition will be launched for people to propose designs for The Geordie Giant, a human-shaped structure around 39 ft tall which will also be based at the development. Competition details will be revealed later this year.
World Wheel Company Newcastle, which is based in the city centre, expects construction to start on site early next year and for Giants on the Quayside to open to the public in 2023.
World Wheel Company Newcastle Phil Lynagh said: “We would like to thank Newcastle City Council for its vision and input over the past 18 months. We worked tirelessly with them to ensure we provided the city with the optimum development plan for consideration.
“We would also like to thank those people and organisations based locally, nationally and internationally for their overwhelmingly positive reaction to our development. We are also extremely grateful for the many public declarations of support we have received since we announced our plans.”
Cllr Ged Bell, Newcastle City Council’s cabinet member for employment and investment, added: “The idea of one of the world’s biggest observational wheels operating here in Newcastle has captured a lot of people’s imaginations.
“The development has the potential to be a real game changer, creating hundreds of jobs for local residents and attracting thousands of new visitors which can only be good for shops, restaurants, cafes and local businesses.
“I am delighted that planning committee have approved these exciting plans. They have listened to all of today’s speakers, and I look forward to seeing this derelict site coming back to life over the coming months.”
About 698,000 people are expected to visit the wheel each year.
Source: Insider Media