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Famous venue escapes axe in £100m council cuts

REPRIEVED ... Newcastle City Hall has survived the �100m council cash cuts.

REPRIEVED ... Newcastle City Hall has survived the �100m council cash cuts.

ONE of the North East’s most famous music venues has excaped the axe as part of a £100m package of council cuts.

Newcastle City Hall has been hosting live events, from classical music to rock, since 1927, as well as stand-up and comedy acts.

In November, Newcastle City Council announced that, as part of a wider cost-cutting process, the future of the City Hall and the adjacent City Pool was under review.

A number of options were being considered, including closure or handing over the venue to an external operator.

Council leader Nick Forbes pre-empted the outcome of the consulations process by stating the City Hall had “no long term future”..

But a 13,000-name petition against closure was presented to Newcastle City Council on January 31 by members of the Facebook ‘North East Music History Group’.

The council met last night to rubber-stamp its budget, and the City Hall survived the cuts, though the City Pool and Turkish Baths next door are to close.

Today, a spokeswoman for the City hall said: “Following a consultation exercise and a review of the City Hall operation, I am pleased to report that the council has confirmed the City Hall is to remain open.

“In addition, I am also pleased to say that, with the adjacent City Pool closing, the council is investigating the possibility of expanding the City Hall operation to provide additional facilities in the former pool area.

“With regard to the future management of the venue, the council is also reviewing the possibility of the City Hall becoming part of an expanded Theatre Royal Trust, operating both the Theatre Royal and the City Hall.”

Famous acts to appear at the City Hall over the years include some of the greats of British music, from The Beatles and Rolling Stones to The Who.

In 1981, Motörhead recorded the majority of the tracks for their live album, No Sleep ‘til Hammersmith, at the venue. It was No 1 for nearly two months.

That same year, Slade performed and recorded their show, which was later released as a live album, entitled Slade on Stage.

Emerson, Lake and Palmer recorded their live album, Pictures At An Exhibition, there in 1971.

 

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