Work delayed again on Newcastle's Whey Aye wheel - but bosses remain confident

Bosses behind the proposed Whey Aye wheel say they “remain confident” in the £100m development, despite even more delays to its construction.

Sunday, 2nd January 2022, 2:46 pm
A CGI of how the Whey Aye wheel could look.

More than two years after the 460ft observation wheel and a surrounding ‘Giants on the Quayside’ leisure complex was controversially given the thumbs up by councillors, building work is yet to start on the scheme.

It had first been hoped that the giant attraction, due to be built on the site of the demolished Spillers flour mill in Ouseburn, would be ready to open in 2023 – before then being delayed to 2024.

But the development has been hit by a string of setbacks during the course of the Covid pandemic that have continually pushed back its construction.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The firm behind the plans, the World Wheel Company, says it now “fully intends” to start work early next year and will release a new target completion date once that happens.

As well as Europe’s tallest observation wheel, the complex will feature a 39ft human-shaped statue called The Geordie Giant, a virtual golf club, and a family entertainment centre.

World Wheel Company Newcastle chief executive, Phil Lynagh, said: “The pandemic has caused unforeseen and unexpected delays to the entire Giants on the Quayside development process.

“However, these delays have allowed us, our investors and professional team to review the development plans. We have used this time to investigate additional sustainable construction methodologies and practices for Giants on the Quayside within the agreed legal framework.

“As a company, we are focused on the sustainability of the development and its ultimate environmental impact. We have therefore been very keen to explore what is possible now to enable us to deliver an even more sustainable construction project.

“We remain confident that Giants on the Quayside will be a world-class destination venue which will also be known for its low carbon footprint.

“It will create hundreds of jobs and other great economic benefits for the city of Newcastle, its people and business community.

“Progressing our development on Newcastle Quayside remains our priority. We now fully intend to be on site in the first quarter of 2022 and will release new target dates for project completion and opening to the public at that stage.”

Support your Gazette and become a subscriber today.

Enjoy unlimited access to all of our news and sport, see fewer ads, experience faster load times, test your brain with daily puzzles and get access to exclusive newsletters.

Your support for our journalism means we can continue telling South Tyneside’s stories for generations to come. Click here to subscribe - and click here to get a snapshot of the Gazette’s news and sport to your inbox through our email newsletters.