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Plans for Sunderland’s Culture House Unveiled

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A unique cultural attraction in Sunderland city centre has been officially given the green light. Culture House – a multi-purpose cultural venue, packed with features and with a year-round programme of activities – has been approved at a Sunderland City Council planning meeting, paving the way for work to start within weeks.

The building, which will combine a state-of-the-art city library and a permanent home for local history and archive collections with spaces for exhibitions, storytelling, learning, gaming, media, arts and crafts, has been designed with heavy input from Sunderland residents, and will stand on the site of the Corner Flag pub, overlooking Keel Square.

A café, a roof garden and welcoming social spaces will make Culture House a “living room in the heart of the city”, and the building will offer an exciting mix of immersive digital experiences and traditional media. Plans were submitted to the planning authority at the end of last year and will now move forward, with a construction partner expected to be announced before the summer.

Patrick Melia, chief executive of Sunderland City Council, said: “Culture House is a staple part of our Riverside Sunderland plan, and I am very much looking forward to seeing it rise from the ground, adding to the magnificent buildings we’re seeing take shape in and around Keel Square. 

“Our plan for the city centre is to create a vibrant new destination, where people can live work and play, and through venues like Culture House, alongside the magnificent Auditorium and our planned £80m Arena, we are delivering more and better places for people to visit and enjoy.”

Culture House has been designed by award-winning, international practice FaulknerBrowns Architects, who also designed the nearby City Hall. The £25m new building will provide more than 75,000sq ft of accommodation on four floors, and the project has secured funding from the Government’s Future High Streets Fund. 

The new building is expected to attract more than half a million visits a year and will draw people from across the city and beyond, contributing to city centre regeneration and enhancing Sunderland’s exciting cultural offer.

Culture House is a key part of the Riverside Sunderland delivery plan, which sets out a transformational vision to create a vibrant, mixed-use site. The plans will see 1,000 new homes for up to 2,500 new residents arrive on Riverside Sunderland, as well as a range of new places to enjoy – including parkland both sides of the river, connected by a new pedestrian crossing. The plans will boost the number of people living and working in the heart of the city, creating a stronger daytime and evening economy by doubling the resident population of the city centre from 2,500 to 5,000 and increasing employment by 50% to 18,000.

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Newcastle International named UK and Irish Airport of the Year in travel awards

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Newcastle International has been named the UK and Irish airport of the year at the so called “toughest to win” travel awards.

The airport scooped the top spot at the Travel Industry Awards 2022, after being voted for by leaders across the tourism industry. The panel of judges were impressed by Newcastle Airport due to its ” strong new routes across a range of airlines and its impressive six-minute security average”.

They also noted its carbon measurement reduction strategy, with the airport aiming to become a net zero carbon airport by 2035, significantly earlier than many other European airport targets. The awards, which are put on by the Travel Trade Gazette, aim to recognise overall performance, support for trade partners, contribution to a fairer travel industry and smarter products.

Now in their second year, the Travel Industry Awards are considered some of the toughest in the industry due to a “robust” system of judging, and hundreds of entries for each spot. Newcastle was one of several entrants for UK and Irish Airport of the year, and was shortlisted alongside Birmingham Airport, George Best Belfast City Airport and London Stansted.

Nick Jones, Chief Executive at Newcastle International Airport, said: ” This achievement is a testament to the work and dedication of employees and business partners across the Airport who have come together to create positive passenger experiences,” adding: “It is a great achievement for everyone at the Airport who has contributed to the award-winning service we deliver.”

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Greggs and Just Eat launch free sausage roll giveaway for Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend

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Greggs has teamed up with Just Eat to offer customers free sausage rolls in time for the Queen’s big Jubilee weekend. Between tomorrow (June 2) and Sunday (June 5) anyone ordering a Greggs – which is based in Newcastle from Just Eat will receive a free sausage roll or vegan sausage roll, when they spend £10 or more on food or drink!

Better still, sausage roll fans will be pleased to know that the big Jubilee weekend also happens to coincide with National Sausage Roll Day on Sunday, making it the perfect excuse to bag yourself one!

“A national icon with the power to unite Britons up and down the country, the humble pastry is set to claim a starring roll in the Queen’s big weekend,” Greggs said in a statement.

Separately, JustEat is offering a 20 per cent discount on all orders from restaurtants with the word “royal” in their name. To claim this, use the code “ROYAL20” at checkout.

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Popular Newcastle party bar set for a six-figure makeover this Summer

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Since Revolution arrived to Newcastle in 2001, on the corner of Collingwood Street and Pudding Chare, they have established themselves to be one of Newcastle’s most loved bars and have served some of the city’s best cocktails and food for the last 21 years.

The UK’s premier vodka bar is reopening on 13th May, just in time for summer, showcasing it’s remarkable transformation. A £190,000 investment will make way for an eye-catching, open plan look, centered around a luxury, VIP, vibrant feel, perfect to capture those all-important Insta moments. Revolution will of course be paying tribute to their much-loved home of Newcastle, with new striking décor showcasing Newcastle’s very own Angel of the North with a vodka twist taking main stage.

The refurbishment brings a brand new ‘best seat’ VIP booth and updated seating areas with a new lighting show and DJ booth. This deluxe renovated best seat VIP booths will allow guests to get to the heart of the party and provide the perfect private place for any celebration or all-important special occasions with DJ’s and bespoke party packages.

The refurbished venue will be the perfect location to cater for lunchtime diners, after work drinks, evening get-togethers, and of course, late-night partying with the finest local DJ talent and events.

The brand is also continuing its mission to be carbon neutral by 2030, after hitting the headlines in 2021 for their forward-thinking tactics. One of just a handful of UK-based companies to sign up to the pledge to hit net zero, the Revolution Bars Group won the prestigious Green Apple Award for Environmental Best Practice for their commitment to the scheme.

One notable change for the brand was the decision to remove the passion fruit halves from its Pornstar Martini cocktail, replacing them with a rice paper alternative. Prior to removing passion fruit from their bestselling cocktail (Revolution sell over 1m across the UK each year), they were shipping 36 tonnes from South America to the UK, only for them to be used as garnish. The group has also continued their drive to reduce energy usage, dropping this by an impressive 19% since 2017.

 

 

With summer on it’s way, Revolution has also welcomed a brand-new special Cocktail menu – with 4 American-themed Cocktails to complement their classic concoctions. The bespoke menu is made up of the Malibu Beach Bae, Tennessee Cherry Sour, Hollywood Highball, and Gold Rush.

 

 

Revolution Newcastle Sales and Events Manager, Meagan Hill, said:

“I am super excited for the venue to reopen with its new look on the 13th May. The refurbishment includes an updated look to our beautiful Grade 2 listed building, highlighting the historic bank features, with a Revolution twist.”

“We can’t wait to kick off our relaunch with a huge agenda, starting on Thursday 26th May with the launch of our new Bottomless Dinner, on Friday we are hosting our corporate re-launch event and then going onto our main event of the week – our huge Saturday re-launch party. We have such an exciting line up of big entertainment including DJ’s, sax players, percussionists and so much more across the weekend – this will be a party like no other at Revolution Newcastle”

“We’ve spent a lot of time reviewing our guests’ feedback and we know that they expect great quality and excellent service. We have undergone a big recruitment push and training program to ensure our team, old and new, are ready to deliver the best party in town and welcome guests into our venue for our exciting launch party.”

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