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Quay to get a pounds 1m pub boost; THEATRE PLANS.

Byline: TOM MULLEN

A NEW gastropub will soon boost Newcastle Quayside's struggling nightlife.

Food and drink lovers will be delighted with the plan, announced by Tyneside theatre bosses who are pumping money into the once-bustling riverside party-spot.

The Live Theatre in Broad Chare is proposing solutions to tackle the difficult economic climate after receiving a pounds 923,000 Arts Council grant.

The Quayside used to be a hotspot for hen night parties and and Baja Beach Club - closed down.

But the Arts Council cash will now fund a joint venture with Terry Laybourne's Cafe 21 group - which already runs Caffe Vivo in the theatre - to open a gastropub in its old premises down the street at 25B Broad Chare.

It is hoped the move could help traders to reverse the decline, which has led to the Toon's nightlife dispersing to other areas including The Gate complex and the "Diamond Strip" around Collingwood Street.

The redevelopment comes after the recent takeover of the nearby Waterline bar, which also includes plans for a family-friendly gastro pub.

Further along the Quayside, the Cooperage has been sold to new owners and the former Julie's nightclub has become a Stein Bar.

Income generated from the gastropub would be ploughed back into Live's work as a theatre specialising in new writing.

A spokesman for Arts Council England North East said the money will come from the "sustained grant" fund aimed at helping organisations facing difficulties in coping with the current financial climate.

"Little did we realise how difficult the past five years would be," said chief executive Jim Beirne.

"We're a pounds 1.6m turnover charity. In terms of theatre we're really small but we are seen as enterprising."

The Live recently featured a co-production of The Girl In The Yellow Dress, which has just enjoyed a successful run at Edinburgh Fringe and comes to Newcastle next week.

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HOPES:Chief executive Jim Beirne, left, and Gez Casey, literary manager
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 4, 2010
Words:325
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