Roll up! Roll up! Newcastle shopping centre set for new lease of life
A town centre shopping centre is set to be renamed to honour the founder of the modern-day circus, Philip Astley.
Work is currently ongoing to regenerate York Place Shopping Centre, in Newcastle, which has fallen into disrepair over the last 10 years.
Now the arcade is set to be re-named as part of plans by Riddell TPS and regeneration consultancy Hometown Plus to give it a new lease of life.
Once the work is complete in October the shopping centre will be renamed as Astley Walk, in honour of Newcastle-born Astley, who went on to achieve worldwide success, creating the modern circus complete with horses, clowns and performers.
Mike Riddell, director at Hometown Plus, said: "We are thoroughly looking forward to working on this project. This is the beginning of a pioneering, socially responsible approach to the reinvention of depressed shopping centres – and it is very exciting."
The shopping centre comprises 28 retail units and currently accommodates organisations including the Co-operative Bank, Holland & Barrett, The Douglas Macmillan Hospice and independent traders such as Kirkham's Jewellers.
More recently the arcade has welcomed Polish beauty shop True Obsession, cupcake store Hello Sweetie Cupcakery and the YMCA's latest venture, The Place To Be.
North Staffs YMCA opened a new creative space inside the York Place arcade, in Newcastle, in June.
The injection of new businesses into the shopping centre – as well as a recent investment in new flooring and lighting – is already playing a part in helping to revitalise the shopping centre.
Now, as well as the relaunch of the centre, plans are in place to install new fascia boards, more lighting, art installations and new shop fits.
Paul Bradbury, manager at Gamepad, a long-standing tenant at York Place, said: "I've seen firsthand the shopping centre's steady decline over the years.
"Investment in new arcade flooring and lighting has given the place a real lift and it's lovely to see the YMCA's new Place to Be now up and running.
"The plans for the regeneration are very exciting."
Hometown Plus has also agreed to work with the North Staffordshire YMCA to provide a new space for recreation, events and learning.
Daniel Flynn, CEO at the North Staffordshire YMCA added: "The YMCA in North Staffordshire is passionate and committed to developing the life chance opportunities for all young people.
"We are really pleased and excited to be working with Hometown Plus on what is going to be a creative space that will develop lots of these life opportunities for young people by unlocking their talents and ultimately creating jobs."
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