Europe’s tallest observation wheel is due to arrive in Newcastle, as developer World Wheel Company’s plans have been approved. It will deliver a 140-metre wheel and visitor attraction at Spillers Quay, which will include a large LED screen, a three-storey family entertainment centre and three two-storey units containing food and drink outlets.
Newcastle City Council granted planning permission for the ‘Whey Aye’ observation wheel, which is expected to be a game-changer for tourism and employment in the area.
“The idea of one of the world’s biggest observational wheels operating here in Newcastle has captured a lot of people’s imaginations. The development has the potential to be a real game changer, creating hundreds of jobs for local residents and attracting thousands of new visitors, which can only be good for shops, restaurants, cafes and local businesses,” said Cllr Ged Bell, Newcastle City Council’s cabinet member for employment and investment.
“I am delighted that planning committee have approved these exciting plans. They have listened to all of today’s speakers, and I look forward to seeing this derelict site coming back to life over the coming months,” Cllr Ged Bell added.
Phase one of the development will include an 837 sq yd (700 sq m) LED digital screen on the facade of the visitor centre, at the base of The Whey Aye, which will be used to communicate information about local culture and events as well as social media content and advertising. Phase two, subject to a media licence, will see a world-record breaking 10,000 sq m LED digital screen added to the wheel.
The development will cover 344,500 sq ft in total and will only take 18 to 24 months to build.
A decision around the screen, which is planned to show advertisements and public information, has been deferred to a future planning meeting.