Newcastle city cinema looks to a greener big picture

Tyneside Cinema achieved Industry Green certification in recognition of its commitment to managing its carbon emissions and thinking up ways of improving environmental impacts

Venue manager at Tyneside Cinema Leigh Venus, left, and Alex Slack of Sanderson Weatherall
Venue manager at Tyneside Cinema Leigh Venus, left, and Alex Slack of Sanderson Weatherall

A Newcastle cinema is looking to the bigger picture after coming up with an environmentally-friendly plan for the venue.

The Tyneside Cinema, in Pilgrim Street, Newcastle already has its own ‘green team’ dedicated to driving change throughout the business,

And last year, the cinema achieved Industry Green certification in recognition of its commitment to managing its carbon emissions and thinking up ways of improving environmental impacts.

The certification scheme was developed by Julie’s Bicycle, a not-for-profit organisation which aims to make sustainability intrinsic to the business, art and ethics of the creative industries, helping them measure, manage and reduce their environmental impacts.

Such is Tyneside Cinema’s dedication to sustainability, that it is working in partnership with its long-term property management partner Sanderson Weatherall to put a strategy in place to drive forward carbon reduction measures.

Venue manager at Tyneside Cinema, Leigh Venus, said: “Tyneside Cinema has been a popular venue since it opened as the ‘Newcastle News Theatre’ in 1937 and today it is the UK’s last operational former newsreel theatre.”

By the late 1990s the cinema had grown its audience significantly, but the old building was in need of some love and investment.

As reported in The Journal, CEO Mark Dobson spearheaded a campaign in 2006 which raised more than £7.5m to restore and redevelop the cinema and led to its reopening in 2008.

The cinema is now spread over four floors and has two bars as well as the Tyneside Coffee Rooms which have been trading for more than 70 years.

Venus said: “We are the custodians of the cinema for the people of the North East, so sustainability and the ongoing care of our venue is extremely important to us.

“When we reopened in 2008 we found ourselves with a building which was both beautifully restored and fitted out with the latest equipment and services, so in order to best manage this unique venue we made the decision to utilise the expertise of a property specialist who could provide advice and manage relationships with our contractors and tenants.

“Through a competitive tendering process, we found the ideal fit with Sanderson Weatherall.

As part of the cinema’s ongoing efforts to become more sustainable it is now looking towards alternative and renewable technologies which could slash its environmental impact.

Staff will now work with Sanderson Weatherall to look at ways they can develop the new environmental action plan.

Alex Slack, facilities manager for Sanderson Weatherall, said: “We recognise the importance of the venue in Newcastle’s cultural landscape.

“We have great expertise with heritage/cultural venues and have a wealth of suppliers/contractors that we can call upon to ensure the cinema is operational at all times.

“Where possible we aim to procure local suppliers/contractors in order to minimise the carbon footprint as well as boost the local economy.”

Sanderson Weatherall is ISO: 14001 accredited which means it has the measures in place to help organisations minimise their operations and reduce any negative environmental impacts.

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer