Joe Robertson News Article - Headlined £10m city fun park

£10m City Fun Park

A multi-million-pound American-style leisure park is planned for Newcastle to rival Gateshead’s crowd-pulling Metroland.

It is the brainchild of millionaire Newcastle businessman Joe Robertson, who made his fortune from a string of City wine bars.

The ambitious scheme includes:

  • A multi-screen cinema
  • Roller rink
  • Bowling alley
  • Soft play area
  • American diner
  • Free parking for 1050 cars

Mr. Robertson was due to submit an application for outline planning permission for the development today.

If it gets the go-ahead, it will be open by spring 1990, with the creation of 350 permanent jobs.

Mr. Robertson intends to acquire the now derelict site, which was formerly Manors railway yard just to the east of the Crest Hotel, from the City Council and British Rail.

Split into two halves by New Bridge Street, the plan is for the northern half to be acquired and then leased back to the City Council for them to operate hundreds of low-cost parking spaces during the day.

There will also be a 16-screen American-style cinema with free parking for customers during the day, and also for Newcastle shoppers and revellers during the evening.


The site will be linked via an illuminated subway to the southern site, where there will be the main leisure facilities.

Sitting on top of the existing Metro station will be the roller rink, ten-pin bowling, soft play area and coffee shop.

There will also be a drive-in American diner on this site, in addition to hundreds more car parking spaces.

Again, these will be open to Newcastle shoppers, at a rate of 50p a day, and will provide additional free parking for the City in the evening.

Mr. Robertson, who is backing MetroCentre developer John Hall’s Newcastle United share issue bid to the tune of £250,000, says it is time for Newcastle to strike back at the MetroCentre’s attempt to monopolise North East leisure facilities.

Like the MetroCentre, his planned Manors Leisure Park will be open for business seven days a week.

Design work for the scheme, which is expected to cost more than £10m, has been carried out by Barry Nicholson, director of City Design Services of Post Office Chambers, Newcastle.