The council hopes the £584,000 windfall will ensure sculptor Antony Gormley's massive structure appears on a hilltop by the A1 early next year. The 65ft angel will have a wingspan of 175ft.
More than two-thirds of people in the north-east have already heard of the angel.
Gateshead Liberal Democrat member Noel Rippeth has mounted a 'Stop the Statue' campaign.
Gateshead deputy leader David Bollands said: 'The angel will become a new symbol for our region and will undoubtedly attract visitors, creating spin-off benefits for the tourism and souvenir trade.'