Whey Aye observation wheel wins planning permission

Planning has been granted for a £100m leisure, sport and food and drink development on Newcastle Quayside, which will feature a 460ft tall giant observation wheel dubbed The Whey Aye.

Creating up to 800 jobs, the Giants on the Quayside development will span 344,445 sq ft. The Whey Aye will be 16ft taller than the London Eye, making it the tallest observation wheel in Europe.

The development, which will be located on a vacant former flour mill site on the banks of the River Tyne, will also feature a new destination food and beverage experience called The Giant’s Quay, a family entertainment centre, giant sport deck and state-of-the-art virtual golf club called The Quayside Golf Club. The application for an 820 sq yd LED screen has been deferred and will be considered at a later date.

In partnership with Newcastle City Council, a public competition will be launched for people to propose designs for The Geordie Giant, a human-shaped structure around 39ft tall which will also be based at the development. Competition details will be revealed later this year.

Developer World Wheel Company Newcastle, which is based in the city centre, expects construction to start on site early next year and for Giants on the Quayside to open to the public in 2023.

Commenting on planning being granted, World Wheel Company Newcastle chief executive officer, Phil Lynagh, said: “We are hugely excited to have been given the go ahead to build a development that is focused on delivering the greatest benefit for the city of Newcastle, its people and its business community.

“We would like to thank Newcastle City Council for its vision and input over the past 18 months. We worked tirelessly with them to ensure we provided the city with the optimum development plan for consideration.

“We would also like to thank those people and organisations based locally, nationally and internationally for their overwhelmingly positive reaction to our development. We are also extremely grateful for the many public declarations of support we have received since we announced our plans.”

Nigel Hartley, chief operating officer of World Wheel Company Newcastle, added: “Our £100m investment in building The Whey Aye and Giants on the Quayside is just the beginning of the beneficial impact our development will have.

“We expect to create up to 800 jobs and will help generate many more investment and employment opportunities thanks to increased tourism and commerce within both Newcastle and the wider North East.”

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