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Double reopening of heritage venues in NewcastleGateshead following multi-million pound investment

Two landmark heritage venues have reopened in NewcastleGateshead after receiving £9.3 million in funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The Common Room of the Great North and Newcastle Cathedral are now once again, available to host events and conferences, after being closed for refurbishment.

Formerly known as The Mining Institute, The Common Room is a unique heritage centre in the heart of Newcastle, which celebrates the region’s engineering history through education and engagement, with a vision to inspire the next generation of innovators and engineers.

The Common Room of the Great North was established in 2017 to manage the redevelopment and refurbishment of the former Mining Institute building following an award from The National Lottery Heritage Fund of £4.1m towards the initial project costs of £7.1m.

Further funding to reflect the project costs due to the pandemic have seen a grant increase of £950,000 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and £440,000 from other sources. The revised project costs due to covid-19 now stand at £8.9m of which c£1.2m is left to raise.

Paul Szomoru, Director of Business Events at NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, said: “The level of investment into these incredible venues is very exciting, and builds on our already spectacular and diverse business events offering here in NewcastleGateshead.

“We’re a place with a rich history, and both The Common Room and Newcastle Cathedral are integral to its story, which makes for an incredible delegate experience. Being able to offer these fantastic venues to delegates across the world, really does make me proud of what we have here.

“I can’t wait for delegates from around the globe, to experience events in these inspiring and intriguing venues.”

Nicky Sherman, Sales and Marketing Manager at The Common Room, said; “Thanks to funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, we’ve been able to secure the future of this amazing building and create a new hub for innovation and engineering in Newcastle.

“As well as safeguarding its stunning original features, we’ve also been able to bring the event spaces totally up to date – for example by incorporating live streaming technology, meaning The Common Room will provide a beautiful and functional venue for all sorts of events, from meetings and dining to conferences and weddings.”

The fully accessible venue has space for 325 guests across three floors and multiple rooms, including top of the range AV facilities and a superb catering offer.

A variety of spaces are available, including the Edwardian Lecture Theatre with tiered seating and The Wood Hall, the largest of the spaces with striking stained-glass windows and a vast glass ceiling, the perfect setting for conferences, awards, presentations and dining.

Newcastle Cathedral has towered over the city since the 14th century and has now been given a new lease of life following £4.2 million from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Redevelopment of its building, grounds and amenities makes the Cathedral one of the largest historic venues in the city with capacity to accommodate up to 1,000 guests in an array of flexible seating configurations.

Kate Sussams, Director of Operations at Newcastle Cathedral, said; “The refurbishment was undertaken to re-establish the Cathedral as a dynamic community hub and a key attraction in Newcastle city centre with an overhaul of its interior to accommodate more visitors, events and activities.

“The Cathedral is available to hire, with several spaces that encompass the iconic features of the building, such as The Nave and The Cathedral Hall which are fully accessible and have new built-in amenities such as under-floor heating, Wi-Fi and kitchen facilities.

“The grandeur of the Cathedral, combined with its modern and practical facilities will appeal to those seeking a magnificent, period-style and highly memorable experience for arts, cultural and business events as well as for gala dinners and awards ceremonies.”

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