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Jun 2, 2021

New plans for a multi- million pound mixed residential and hospitality development on the landmark site of a former bank headquarters in the heart of Newcastle have been submitted for approval.

The move will see the former Allied Irish Bank (AIB) north east office, which has stood vacant for over 8 years at 9 – 17 Collingwood Street, transformed by developers  into a ground and mezzanine floor bar and restaurant complex for 100 diners.

Twelve serviced apartments will also be built above on the first and third floors, providing high quality accommodation to meet the strong demand for city centre living space.

An onsite concierge, a gym and cycle storage are also planned as part of an ambitious project that will see the existing frontage and most of the infrastructure retained, while the overall space is boosted by the addition of a third-floor extension to the rear façade.

The project will create more than 100 jobs during the initial construction phase with a further 15 full time new positions in bar work, hospitality and cleaning services to follow when the site fully opens in 2022.

The refurbishment of the Collingwood Street site comes at a time of increasing demand for quality short or longer-term city centre leased accommodation, according to Mohsin Rashid, director of Portland Real Estate Group.

He said: “This is a prestigious project that will see the transformation of a great city centre location, breathing new life into a site that has been left vacant for years and transforming it into one that will offer a desirable location where people can stay and experience the city at its best.”

Portland Real Estate Group is working with North East planning firm Hedley Planning Services, which is steering the proposals through Newcastle City Council’s planning committee.

Director Sean Hedley said: “This is a great development that represents a significant contribution to the vibrancy and vitality of an important local economic sector, bringing a well known site back into use. It’s in a really attractive location, with good transport links nearby as well as being within easy walking distance to a range of facilities and services.”

Onsite work is expected to start in September if plans get the green light with the first tenants expected to start to move in early 2022.

The Grade II building was built between 1890 and 1891 for a private bank and was last occupied by Allied Irish Bank until 2013, but it has been vacant ever since and the upper floor office suites have been derelict even longer, having been vacated in the late 1990s.