Back in 1981 what is now Newcastle Arts Centre was a long abandoned and derelict group of buildings. Sold for redevelopment in the early 1970’s it became Listed because of its heritage.

In 1980 it was for sale at a knocked down price because of the decline of trade as City Centre had moved north with the development of Eldon Square Shopping Centre, University developments and the completion of the new Civic Centre and Bus Stations.

Much of the once busy Westgate Road was abandoned and even Grainger Street the southern gateway to the City Centre had 26 empty buildings. It was renovated by Newcastle Arts Centre with financial support from the Inner City Partnership, Newcastle City, Historic Buildings Commission, Tyne and Wear Conservation Team, Manpower Services Commission.

These pictures give some idea of how we recycled this ancient site to be an award winning community enterprise that was officially opened by Prince Charles in 1988.

Front 1983
Front 2010
Covered Courtyard 69 Westgate Road 1981
Black Swan Courtyard 69, Westgate Road 2010
Back 69 Westgate Road being cleared to re-establish lost courtyard 1984
Black Swan Courtyard 2010
‘details’ art materials shop 2010 in former Woolfs Department Store of 1912
67 Westgate Road , 1984
former retail shop being used as site workshop prior to is conversion an art gallery
Gallery open for the Late Shows 2018 in former ‘Woolfs’ Department Store of 1912
67, Westgate Road 1st Floor Mezzanine, Jazz Café & Bar 2019
Black Swan Bar under the Courtyard
Black Swan basement Venue, 67 Westgate Road, capacity 200 people

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