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Last edited 13 Jan 2021
The Whey Aye
On 21 May 2018, plans were announced to build Europe’s biggest observation wheel in Newcastle. The project, which has been given the nick name ‘The Whey Aye’ will be 140m in height (5m taller than the London Eye), and located next to the River Tyne on the site of the former Spillers’ Flour Mill (demolished in 2011). It will include 10,000 sqm of LED screens which will display information about local events.
The proposals, announced by the Hong Kong based World Wheel Company, also Include bars and restaurants, along with ‘Giants of the North’, a 9,000 sq m visitor attraction dedicated to the achievements of local people and featuring virtual mixed reality and interactive technology. The plans also show a family entertainment centre and a multi-purpose play and sports complex.
Journey time on the wheel is expected to be 30 minutes, and it is hoped it will attract 800,000 visitors in its first year.
Footballer Alan Shearer said; “I think it would be great news for Newcastle. It’s just what the city needs – a new iconic attraction that celebrates our rich history and culture, while creating jobs and income for the people.”
Phil Lynagh, chief executive officer of World Wheel Company’s Newcastle operation, said; “Representing an overall investment of more than £100 million, it will create up to 550 local jobs. The developments will attract continued investment through more visitors spending an increased amount of time in the city and the region. It will also further enhance the north east’s global reputation for technological and industrial innovation whilst celebrating Tyneside’s heritage and supporting its future.”
North East businessman and co-founder of accountancy software company The Sage Group, Graham Wylie said: “Should this new development get planning approval, it will deliver a new iconic landmark for the City and any project that delivers real job opportunities of this scale, regenerates a disused part of the Quayside and generates income to the city has to be a good idea.”
World Wheel Company chief marketing officer, Nigel Hartley, said; “We’re hugely excited to be working on this world-class development and pioneering the creation of an entirely new marketing and social media channel for the region and beyond.”
World Wheel Company Newcastle chief executive Phil Lynagh said: “We are hugely excited to have been given the go ahead to build a development that is focused on delivering the greatest benefit for the city of Newcastle, its people and its business community.”
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