The HOK-designed The Sage arena in Gateshead has been given the go-ahead by planners after alterations were made to the scheme.

Gateshead Municipal Borough Council has approved revised plans for The Sage, the £260 million waterfront leisure development in northern England. 

The mixed-use entertainment district, developed by Ask Real Estate and Patrizia AG, will include hotels, bars, restaurants and retail, creating a distinctive destination on the banks of the River Tyne. The development will be operated by ASM Global.

The newly approved plans include a significant change to the “overbearing” hotel element of the scheme.

The 12,500-seat arena will host music, cultural and sporting events, as well as conferences and exhibitions. The highly flexible seating bowl design is comprised of fixed, retractable and removable seats, allowing the venue to transform to accommodate audiences as small as 1,500. The sensitive, scalable design solution facilitates pedestrian-friendly connections between surrounding development, the waterfront and Gateshead’s town centre.

The Sage will sit between the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and the renowned international music centre, Sage Gateshead.

John Rhodes, director of Sports + Entertainment at HOK said:

The Sage offers a flexible and responsive design solution for Gateshead that will allow the region to attract high-profile events and conferences while infusing the area, which already boasts rich cultural buildings and spaces, with another gathering space and entertainment destination. 

We’re thrilled to see the project progress through planning and look forward to the catalytic growth that will result from this investment in the city.

The Sage will be a 54,500m2 pioneering community-focused, state-of-the-art business and entertainment destination, bringing the world to the North East of England, ASM said. 

The venue will support the region’s businesses by unlocking access to new customers and international markets through commercial and promotional opportunities.

It will be the North East's largest business and entertainment district and will welcome more than one million visitors annually.  The development will provide an estimated £70 million annual boost for the local economy, creating 2,000 jobs, the majority of which will be sustained over the long-term.