Tyne & Wear

Late night shopping hope for Newcastle city centre

Newcastle (pic courtesy of Freefoto)
Image caption Many shops in Newcastle will stay open into the evening

Council bosses in Newcastle have announced plans to "bring the city alive after five".

From the end of October, outlets in Eldon Square and some other retailers will be open until 2000 BST on weekdays, and 1900 BST on Saturdays.

There will be also be free parking at eight multi-storey car parks.

The council hopes it will bring in an extra six and a half million visitors a year and boost the economy by an additional £246m a year.

Anita Lower, deputy leader of the city council, said that the later opening times would last all year.

"It is not a trial or gimmick, the idea is to bring the city alive after five," she said.

"When people finish work they tend to go home because there isn't anything to do in the city centre for a while.

"Things like theatres and restaurants and things don't start to pick up until about seven.

"This will fill the gap caused by the city changing from a shopping centre to one with cultural evening events."

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