'Byker Grove' is on market for £1m

The former Byker Grove studios, where the children's TV series that launched a string of North-East stars including Ant and Dec, Jill Halfpenny and Donna Air was filmed, has been put on the market.

The former Byker Grove studios, where the children's TV series that launched a string of North-East stars including Ant and Dec, Jill Halfpenny and Donna Air was filmed, has been put on the market.

The Mitre Building in Benwell was put on the market last week by its owners through the Newcastle office of property agent Sanderson Weatherall, with a £1m price tag.

The BBC, which axed the teen soap last May after 17 years, took a 25-year lease on the Grade II-Listed building in October 2004, although it has an option to break the agreement in September 2009. The rent is believed to be in the region of £50,000.

John Haley, associate director at Sanderson Weatherall, said the 19th Century building could be re-developed for use as offices, apartments or for leisure facilities.

He said: "Just two-and-a- half miles outside of the city centre and with easy access to the A1, the building provides a truly unique environment and lends itself a variety of uses."

The 16,000sqft building is situated in grounds of more than 2.8 acres and comprises a main building in addition to a chapel annex.

Mr Haley said: "The Mitre is an excellent investment or potential redevelop- ment and presents a fantastic opportunity to those seeking a rare chance to acquire a distinctive building within a substantial site, in an area of Newcastle which is undergoing substantial and ongoing improvement."

Before achieving stardom, Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, best known as duo Ant and Dec, appeared in the show between 1990 and 1993 as PJ and Duncan.

And Donna Air, who started her career playing Grove character Charlie Charlton, went on to present shows such as MTV Select and The Big Breakfast.

The show, set in a Byker youth hostel, but actually filmed at the Benwell studios, also launched the career of Jill Halfpenny, who went on to play Kate Mitchell in EastEnders.

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