- The Civic Centre,
- Barras Bridge,
- Tyne and Wear,
- NE1 8QH
0191 277 7222
For more information email:
- What's on
- The Civic Centre
- Image gallery
- Contact us
Civic Architecture and History
Prior to the outbreak of the Second World War, the City Council invited architects to submit designs in open competition for a new Town Hall on the site at Barras Bridge. The intervention of war, however, precluded any further work being done on the winning scheme.
The immediate post-war years were not favourable for building work of this nature, and the pattern of Local Government activities was radically changing, thus rendering the accommodation envisaged in the 1939 plan unacceptable. It was not until 1950 that the Municipal Buildings Committee plans and report were approved by the City Council. Due to the national restrictions on capital expenditure in the succeeding years, it was not until August 1956 that the work to proceed on the erection of the building was authorised, which in the interim had received the approval of the Royal Fine Art Commission. In the first instance this permission was only given in a limited way, trial borings and site investigation work being carried out between October 1956 and February 1957, during which time the acquisition and demolition of houses and an Eye Hospital on the site had to be carried out.
A contract was let for site preparation and foundations for the four-storey office building fronting St. Mary’s Place and the section of the work incorporating the Rates Hall. This work was carried out between June 1958 and May 1959, by which time restrictions upon expenditure had been modified to the extent that the City Council was permitted to proceed with the office block twelve storeys in height and the underground car park for 225 cars.
Tenders were invited in December 1959 and work commenced on the site in May 1960. The foundation stone was laid by the Lord Mayor, Alderman Mrs. Gladys Robson, JP, on 30th November 1960. This phase was completed in 1963 at a cost of £2,500,000, providing 26,200 square metres of administrative accommodation. The Municipal Buildings Committee then decided to complete the work, employing the same Contractor, in one final phase, the cost of which was £2,355,000. This work was carried out between May 1965 and November 1968. The total construction cost was £4,855,000.
The Council Chamber forms the focal point of the facade to the Great North Road, on the axis of the tall office block at the base of the tower. The ceremonial entrance to the building is directly beneath the Chamber. North of the Council Chamber is the Reception Suite which embraces the Banqueting Hall, Lord Mayor’s and Sheriff’s Suites, and Council Members’ Dining Room, while to the south are the Committee Room Suites and administrative offices.
The Civic Centre was formally opened by His Majesty King Olav V of Norway on the 14th November 1968.
or contact Debbie by Telephone: 0191 211 6960/211 5560 or 211 6864
Tours for under 5 people there will be no charge
Tours for 5 - 10 people £10.00 per group
Tours for 10 people and over £20.00 per group
© 2009 Newcastle City Council