Newcastle’s Ridley Place is completed

Ridley Place is the first street to be completed in Newcastle City Council’s major investment into the city centre’s public realm. Others to follow in this LDA Design-led project include Saville Row and Grey Street, one of the UK’s premier city thoroughfares.

The aim of the investment is to ensure Newcastle’s civic spaces attract more people to the centre with higher quality public realm that is greener, more distinctive, inclusive, and more enjoyable. 

Ridley Place is a lively street lined with independent shops and cafes. Previously, there was nowhere to sit, and therefore was no possibility of spending much time here.

Crafted by local company Raskl, new bespoke seating and planters will ensure Ridley Place becomes a relaxed place to dwell rather than pass through, better supporting local businesses. Newcastle’s industrial heritage has influenced designs.

The revamp brings nature into the street for the first time via a pocket park with new trees and plants. New bike stands have been installed, and the street has been repaved.

To help make Ridley Place a safe and lively place at night, warm and atmospheric overhead lighting has been installed along the length of the street, suspended on wires. The lighting design is by Michael Grubb Studio.

LDA Design has used the project to support local artists and makers. A new mural greets visitors as they enter the street, with another planned later this year at the other end. The murals are part of the wider transformation that will make the city centre a free gallery to explore and enjoy.

John Simpson, a director at LDA Design and project lead for transforming the Newcastle City Centre public realm, said: “Ridley Place is a great street with some fantastic businesses that need our support. We hope the changes we have made here will increase footfall from day through to evening.”

To mark the opening of Ridley Place, the council, NE1, and businesses on the street hosted a celebration on the weekend with live music, a brass band, face painting and crafts for children and food stalls.

All improvements on Ridley Place have been funded through the Government’s Getting Building Fund.

Images Credit: Jack Storey / 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