New acts, new businesses, new jobs – just some of the exciting announcements following the
appointment of local entrepreneur, Paul Stonebanks OBE as the new preferred custodian of The Exchange in North Shields.
Huge progress has been made so far and The Exchange’s future looks set to be rosy and inclusive for everyone in the community.
Paul Stonebanks OBE of Exchange 1856 explains:
“It gives us great pleasure to inform you that The Exchange will not close in April and will continueoperating across all areas as normal. The renovation and transformation of The Exchange will be completed around existing operations.
“We have guaranteed all previous bookings made under The Exchange Theatre Charity and are in positive dialog with all parties about developing and expanding these relationships. In addition, we have secured additional bookings across areas such as music and theatre and are working to finalise a jam-packed programme for the benefit of our entire community. This exciting inclusive cultural programme will be announced in the coming weeks.
“We remain in positive discussions with the Charity at The Exchange to find a mutually agreeable sustainable and community focused partnership as we understand the importance of continuing a charitable offer which supports the wider community.
“We have negotiated a ten-year agreement with a local expert bar and restaurant group securing existing jobs and bringing a further 15 full time equivalent roles in the coming months with more to follow.
“Within the Saville Exchange, we have secured 10-year rental deals on two large offices, bringing another 40 full-time roles to The Exchange and its local community in 2023/24.
“In terms of appointments, we have appointed a new and local Managing Director for The Exchange with a strong theatre and commercial background. This provides the perfect balance of experience to take The Exchange forward into a thriving and successful future. The name of this individual will be announced separately very soon.
“We have also appointed a local digital media company, who will be based at The Exchange, and will support all acts across our inclusive cultural offer.
“Fantastic progress is being made in other areas such as a new ticketing system and appointment of a non-Executive Board and we are continuing to forge strong relationships for the benefit of The Exchange within the Arts and North Shields Cultural Quarter.
“Together we will identify the best way for The Exchange to serve our communities and give local people a voice.
“The Exchange born in 1856 - reborn in 2023!”
John Sparkes, Director of Regeneration and Economic Development at North Tyneside Council, said:
“The Exchange is central to delivering our ambitious plans to develop a vibrant 'Cultural Quarter' in North Shields, which will diversify and expand the town centre offer and drive footfall. We recently went to the market to identify an operator through an open tender process. Unfortunately, the current operator was not successful, and through the Council's Strategic Property Group a new preferred operator has been identified as Stonebanks Investments.
“Stonebanks are prepared to invest significantly into the Grade II listed building and grow the cultural offer and support our wider ambitions for the town centre. We're working closely with them on the transfer of the building and look forward to seeing this cultural landmark flourish in the future.”