Image of former bowling alley on Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne

Plans to turn empty bowling alley in Newcastle’s West End into flats rejected again

Westgate Road

A developer’s second attempt to turn the historic Westgate Road venue into apartments and a HMO has again been met with refusal from Newcastle City Council.

The empty bowling alley, most recently known as The Bowl, shut down following the Covid pandemic’s crippling impact on the leisure industry. The site, formerly the MFA Bowl, had previously closed down in 2018 before being relaunched.

Prior to that, the building has enjoyed a rich history dating back more than 100 years. It originally opened as the Brighton Electric Theatre in 1911 and later became a cinema in 1947.

The Northumberland and Newcastle Society objected, saying:

“We believe this application is an improvement on the previous scheme but nonetheless it still lacks appropriate detail and shows little recognition for the status of the building. In our assessment there is a clear opportunity for a better thought out scheme with due respect to the history and character of the building.”

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