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GATESHEAD GETS LOTTERY JACKPOT FOR MUSIC CENTRE

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A futuristic concert hall and music centre to be built beside the Tyne Bridge in Gateshead yesterday became the sec...
A futuristic concert hall and music centre to be built beside the Tyne Bridge in Gateshead yesterday became the second largest beneficiary of lottery money after the Royal Opera House.

The Guardian (p9) reports that the complex was awarded£44m in the latest round of National Lottery Arts Council grants.

George Gill, leader of Gateshead MBC, hailed the centre as one of the finest buildings in Britain and a pace-setter for musical innovation in which classics will be encourage to 'fuse' with traditional music.

'It is about composing music, performing, listening, learning and joining in,' he said. 'It will be a building with open doors 16 hours a day - the first centre of its kind which acknowledges the creative link between all levels of music making.'

The centre, which will cost£62m, was one of the four new projects to share the bulk of money distributed yesterday by the Arts Council.

The Laban Centre at Deptford, south-east London, will get£12m for a scheme which will include a 300-seat theatre. The Hampstead theatre has been awarded almost£10m for a new building to replace the temporary structure built 37 years ago. Liverpool will get£3.7m for a multi-media arts and creative technology centre.

Chris Smith, the culture secretary, said the projects would create hundreds of jobs. 'There is an enormous amount of evidence that where you have a really vibrant arts project you get a real buzz of confidence within a community. This is the starting point for economic and social regeneration.'

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