The former O2 Newcastle Academy joins the leading independent music venue owners’ collection of sites, which includes Electric Brixton in London and SWX in Bristol, with Christie & Co retained to acquire further sites on behalf of the group.
Opening in October 2022, NX Newcastle will be a “state-of-the-art 21st century independent music venue” following a comprehensive £1.5 million refurbishment of the historical building, with works scheduled to begin in March 2022.
Designed by architect Stuart Trett at Design At Source with Electric Group CEO Dominic Madden, the plans for NX’s main room include creating a more intimate gig experience for artists and audiences alike, with the introduction of mezzanine platforms and staircases, four new bars, and access to a contained roof terrace.
Independent live music venues are a key part of the experience economy for British cities, particularly post-covid and Electric Group works with music agents and promoters to bring top-flight artists and performers to venues throughout the UK.
CGI of re-designed venue
As part of the group’s ongoing acquisition drive, Christie & Co is retained to acquire multiple city centre opportunities for redevelopment, with target locations including London, Brighton, Cardiff, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Southampton, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Suitable properties could include nightclubs, theatres, performance venues, bingo halls, cinemas and churches, as well as existing live music venues, which are capable of providing a minimum of 18,000 – 20,000 sq ft floor area, with the majority of open plan space on a single level. Both freehold and leasehold situations can be considered subject to leases having a minimum of 15 years unexpired.
Electric Group CEO, Dominic Madden comments, “After many years in planning, I’m delighted to announce our exciting vision for the refurbishment of the 02 Newcastle Academy, which of course has a seminal history, and we have the important task of curating the next stage of the venue’s development.
“NX will be a state-of-the-art independent music venue and our vision is to undertake a comprehensive refurbishment of the venue, with a focus on making the main room a more intimate gig experience. Our plans include the creation of new standing mezzanine staircases on either side of the main room, with access to an intimate standing platform within the existing balcony and with bars and access to a contained roof terrace for music fans to use. This redesign will improve sight lines for the audience and bring them closer to the stage. This 21st century vision also fully respects the grandeur and history of the existing venue whilst putting the artist and fan experience front and centre of our plans.”
Jon Patrick, Head of Leisure & Development at Christie & Co who is leading the acquisition drive adds, “We are delighted to be assisting Electric Group with their business development plans and have seen considerable growth in live music and merchandising over the last decade as audiences have changed the way in which they access music. The pandemic has curtailed live music and performance for the last 18 months and has been an incredibly challenging time for all operators in the late-night sector, therefore it’s encouraging to see new investment and plans for new sites coming through from Electric Group.”
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ABOUT ELECTRIC GROUP
Electric Group is an independent music venue group. Formed in 2013, the group has grown organically out of the success of Electric Brixton and now owns some of the UK’s most iconic music venues including SWX Bristol. The group is a JV between CEO, Dominic Madden and Jake Lewis of the Lewis family, who own River Island amongst other business interests