Work is well under way on Sage Gateshead’s iconic concourse, transforming the ‘town square’ of the venue.

The box office, bars, brasserie and café at Sage Gateshead will be refurbished, and a new private dining area will be created as well as pop-up retail stands.

It is part of a £2 million capital programme that will also enable more part-standing gigs in Sage One, thanks to a new quick-release seat system that will be installed later this year. Managing Director Abigail Pogson said it was the first major refurbishment to take place since the building opened in 2004: “As we celebrate our 15th year we want to reach more people and create more opportunities for a wider range of people.”

“We want to ensure music is a central part of life and that access to arts and culture is part of life in the North East and part of the identity of Sage Gateshead.

“We’re improving the spaces where people come to spend time before a concert or a class, to drop in for a coffee or to meet friends. We’re going to upgrade audio in those spaces and put up digital screens so we can project and promote information about everything we have to offer.

“Taking the seats out to allow us to programme regular, part-standing gigs means we can attract a totally different range of artists and give audiences a different experience. It will also mean greater capacity in the hall while still retaining that fantastic intimate vibe you get in Sage One.”

Sage Gateshead was awarded £1.2 million in National Lottery funding through Arts Council England’s capital programme to enable the full project to go ahead. This has been matched by donations and pledges of £800,000 from Gateshead Council, individuals, trusts and businesses from the North East and across the country.

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