NE1 Ltd has received initial support of £202,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) as part of its Townscape Heritage initiative for the redevelopment of the historic Bigg Market.
The funding has been awarded to help NE1 Ltd progress project development plans and then apply for a full grant early in 2016.
The HLF has earmarked £1,625,100 for the project, which, with match funding, will be worth £2.9m of new investment into the Bigg Market.
The project aims to reinvigorate the area, restore its historic significance to the city centre and help unlock private sector investment to secure the city’s heritage for years to come.
NE1 has worked closely with Newcastle City Council, Plus 3 Architecture, Kevin Doonan Architects, Turner and Townsend and the North of England Civic Trust on the project – and now The Journal has been shown the first images created as part of the multi-million pound scheme.
All three images have been produced by Jesmond-based Plus 3 Architecture for purely illustrative purposes, demonstrating how landscaping could have a huge impact on the area, which has 31 listed buildings.
Historical features, such as the 19th century Rutherford Memorial Fountain, will also figure prominently.
Meanwhile, the subterranean structure of the public toilets, which is more than a century old, is pictured as an independent coffee shop, with visitors seated beneath its renovated, clear glass dome.
While NE1 Ltd stressed that all the images are purely for illustration, the firm said it is likely the toilets will be turned into a commercial venture.
Sean Bullick, chief executive at NE1 Ltd said: “NE1’s vision for the Bigg Market, shared by Newcastle City Council and the business community, provides a real opportunity to re-create a historic quarter in Newcastle that is also commercially sustainable, making a positive contribution to the city centre in future.
“We are confident this positive first step will give private investors the confidence to bring forward their own investment plans, potentially worth millions to the area and local economy.”