- The Civic Centre,
- Barras Bridge,
- Tyne and Wear,
- NE1 8QH
0191 277 7222
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Leading directly from the first floor gallery is the Council Chamber Lobby which has a Verde Patricia marble floor, hide-panelled walls and a maple ceiling. Access to Members’ telephones and the Press Box is also gained from this lobby.
The Council Chamber is basically in the form of an ellipse, the long axis of which is shortened by a curved rear wall, the Chamber being 21.8 meters across and 20.2 meters back to front. It is designed to take 149 seats, although at the present time provision has been made for only 117, disposed on eight four-inch stepped levels radiating from the Lord Mayor’s chair.
The ceiling sweeps upwards to a central eye which is the sole source of natural light, the eye being 12.2 meters above the lowest floor level of the Chamber. The panelling is sculptured and acoustically designed.
The Lord Mayor’s Dais forms the focal point of the Chamber, raised from floor level in Rio Rosewood, and faced with striated cast aluminium panels. Behind the dais is plain panelled Cedar of Lebanon which carries not only the City’s Armorial Bearings but also, when the Council is in session, displays the Sword of State and the Mace supported in jewel-like perspex brackets. The seats are upholstered in light green hide with small table tops between the individual chairs. Incorporated in the table tops are push-buttons for individual voting, the results of which are electronically collated and displayed in two illuminated panels each side of the Lord Mayor’s dais and readily visible from all parts of the Chamber. The Chamber is carpeted in green apart from the area immediately in front of the dais which is in Swedish green marble for sound reflection.
Overlooking the Chamber at the rear raised above the floor is the Press Box accommodating at least seven reporters. The rear and side walls of the Box are panelled in Sierra tan hide, behind which are two telephone booths exclusively for press use.
The public Gallery to the Chamber provides accommodation for sixty members of the public.
The entrance at the head of the Grand Stair incorporates a large tapestry displaying the City’s Armorial Bearings in true heraldic colours. This tapestry screen can be retracted into a recess enabling the full width of the Lobby to be used on occasion.
At the head of the Grand Stair is the silver bell of the H M S Newcastle, presented to the ship by the Lord Mayor and citizens of Newcastle upon Tyne to mark her commissioning in 1937. The bell is now used as the Council Division Bell.
© 2009 Newcastle City Council