It was a gamble – but one that has paid off.
Figures released yesterday showed that the Sage Gateshead has contributed more than £283m to the North East economy in the 10 years of its existence.
That is almost three times the cost to the public purse of building and maintaining it. It always has been a major employer and now more than 450 people have jobs there.
Yet keeping the Sage afloat is still a balancing act. Gateshead Council and the Arts Council are vital players and they are to be praised for their continuing commitment in these difficult times. The leadership at the venue know well that nothing must be taken for granted.
We have in the Sage a magnificent venue, a jewel in the crown not only of Tyneside but of the whole country.
Everyone involved in planning, building and running it can take a moment to pat themselves on the back. And then it’s straight back to work.