Tuesday, 20 October 2009
The Central RIP
For the time being, anyway:
Head of Steam buy up Central Hotel in Gateshead
Oct 13 2009 by Dan Warburton, Evening Chronicle
AN ICONIC Tyneside pub dubbed “The Coffin” is being lined-up for a £1.1m revamp.
The Central Hotel on Half Moon Lane, in Gateshead, is known to thousands because of its position close to the Tyne Bridge.
Now it has been snapped-up by local pub group The Head of Steam Ltd, and the Grade II-listed building is set for a mass renovation – with a new top-tier terrace bar replacing a section of the dilapidated roof.
Tony Brookes, managing director of The Head Of Steam Ltd, said the venture would help regenerate the area.
He said: “It’s a brilliant building, but it’s become really run down. We want to turn it in to the most beautiful Victorian pub in the area. The whole area has undergone renovation and this can only help that.” The Central sits on its own island site, with five front elevations in total. It was built in 1856 and the roof is now leaking, the windows are falling out and the stonework is crumbling away in lots of places.
A bid to brighten up the building in the 70s with a paint job led to even more decay. Head of Steam – which already runs the Head of Steam, Cluny and Tilleys bars in Newcastle, plus pubs in Durham, Huddersfield and Liverpool – is to due to plough £700,000 into the venture, with a further £400,000 grant coming from the Townscape Heritage Initiative, which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Jean Sauvary, Townscape Heritage Initiative’s project manager of Gateshead Council, said: “From the outside this looked like an easy thing to do, but it’s so difficult for so many reasons. It’s an incredible building and we need something like this in Gateshead.”
As part of the scheme the first-floor rooms will be returned to their original grandness and scale as function rooms. Work on the outside is due to start next week.
This work will not be completed until the end of February 2010 at the earliest, but in the meantime the pub has been closed for changes to the bars and products sold. It will re-open in about a month and trade while works goes on.
See also: http://www.gateshead.gov.uk/Council%20and%20Democracy/news/News%20Articles/MajorGrantforIconicGatesheadPub.aspx
I like this: "Councillor Mick Henry, Leader of Gateshead Council and Chair of the Town Centre Partnership, says: “This is a really exciting development.
“The Central is one of the largest and most striking buildings in Gateshead’s historic core, yet its condition has been a cause of serious concern. Now at last we have the chance of helping this unique building to become one of the highlights of Gateshead’s revitalised Town Centre, aided by a successful local company with a track record of innovative and sensitive restoration.
“This is great news for Gateshead. We have great aspirations for this area of our Town Centre – working with The Head of Steam to restore this landmark building and help make the Central Bar a popular destination once more will give a significant boost to our ambitions.”"
You have took at the tip that is the centre of Gateshead and wonder what the hell the council have been doing over the last God-knows-how-many-years. And when's that bloody car park finally coming down?