Newcastle's Quayside is iconic. The Quayside is an integral part of the city centre, and a strategic asset that needed to be protected and improved and invested in, if it is to realise its full potential and contribute to the city in the way we know it can. We believe Newcastle's Quayside should be viewed as one of the world's great river-fronts.
During discussions with businesses prior to our Renewal ballot in 2018, NE1 identified the Quayside as a key area of focus. The feedback from NE1 members was clear; the city had turned its back on the river and the Quayside, significant investment was long overdue and more must be made of this iconic location, recognising its strengths, but focused on the future and what it could be.
Home to many of the city's finest restaurants and leisure venues, the Quayside also houses a high proportion of the city's professional services companies and has a vibrant residential community. As such it is essential that the area works both as a daytime, night-time and residential destination.
Work began in earnest during the summer of 2021, and saw the first series of interventions in the area delivered by NE1 with our 'Summer in the City' programme, which was designed to create a linear trail along the Quayside, offering activities and installations throughout.
In autumn of the same year we commissioned Gehl Architects, world leaders in place-making who have worked with cities such as New York, Beijing, Calgary, and Stockholm, to name but a few.
Keen to involve local businesses, residents, and key city-centre stakeholders, a public 'maptionnaire' was hosted online in early 2022, allowing a broad spectrum of people to submit their hopes and dreams for the Quayside, and this feedback formed the basis for a workshop led by Gehl, and involving several city centre architects, which took place in February. The results of this workshop were distilled into a further maptionnaire, on which more than 2,500 people had their say. The results of the process will be presented by Gehl to an audience of city-centre stakeholders, businesses, residents, and others, in the summer of 2022.
This initial piece of work with Gehl and local firms will form the basis of a long-term, collective vision for the Quayside and how it could evolve in the future.