Newcastle City Council shares vision for £50m transformation of city centre

Newcastle City Council has shared its vision to transform the city centre and boost post Covid-19 recovery. Proposed designs by LDA Design will see key streets pedestrianised as part of a £50 million city centre wide revamp that aims to create a healthier green city, drawing investment into the centre.

Northumberland Street, the city’s main shopping street, will be transformed with trees and planting into a relaxed place to be enjoyed all year round. Nearby Ridley Place and Saville Row will host independent local retailers and craftspeople, pop-up food stalls and a flower market.

Further big changes include a longer-term plan to remove vehicle traffic from Grey Street and Blackett Street in the heart of the city centre, making them safer and improving the environment for residents and businesses.

Leader of Newcastle City Council, Cllr Nick Forbes, said city centres need to adapt to survive. “Today we are launching our plans to create a city centre that gives residents and visitors what they want – pleasant open spaces to meet and socialise; a more diverse range of shops; safer streets that are free of traffic where people can walk freely, and attractions that offer families lots of things to do that are fun and educational.”

This would see Grey Street transformed with new planting, paving and seating, to become a hub for cultural events and performance and ultimately the primary pedestrian route between the city centre and Quayside.

LDA Design is lead designer for the city centre transformation. The council has already secured over £20 million to begin work on a number of city centre streets this summer, with the remaining £30 million to be raised through grants and private funding. The transformation programme includes plans for the historic Grainger Market.

John Simpson at LDA Design says Newcastle is placing public realm firmly at the heart of its re-emergence and growth. ”We are entering a new era for city centres, and Newcastle has ambitious plans to create a greener, more pedestrian-friendly city for all generations to enjoy.

“Our approach creates spaces that celebrate Newcastle’s history, heritage and culture, making the public realm a destination in its own right and bringing more people into the centre where they will want to stay for longer.”

Residents and businesses will be asked for their views on the proposals.

Images Credit: Newcastle City Council/LDA Design

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Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at