Tyne & Wear

Sage move for Gateshead Town Hall

Gateshead Town Hall
Image caption Gateshead Town Hall was built in 1870

Gateshead's old town hall is set for a musical future.

The historic building has had a variety of uses since the new civic centre opened in 1987, and is now home to the council's cultural services.

From January 2013, management is being transferred to the Sage Gateshead, via a lease to the North Music Trust.

This will enable it to continue as a "cultural hub", with spaces for community and private hire. There will also be concerts in its public hall.

Remaining council staff will be relocated to the civic centre.

Mick Henry, leader of Gateshead Council, described it as a win-win situation.

"It's important for Gateshead Council to make best use of its limited resources," he said.

"One way we can do that is to bring more of our staff into Gateshead Civic Centre and reduce the number of buildings we need to heat, light and maintain.

"It will reduce our overheads but, more importantly, it will also enable The Sage Gateshead to take this already important cultural hub on to the next level."

The old town hall provided a temporary base for the Sage Gateshead while the landmark building was being constructed.

Anthony Sargent, general director of the Sage Gateshead, said: "It is enormously rewarding now to be working so closely with our council colleagues on this new initiative, using all The Sage Gateshead's connections and resources to expand the range of musical opportunities available to local people."

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