Thursday, June 05, 2003

Tears on the Tyne

Alas, it was not to be. The joint Newcastle-Gateshead bid to be 2008 European Capital of Culture has failed, it was announced yesterday, despite having been the bookie's favourite. Instead, the honour (and the consequent prospect of lots of cash and jobs) has gone to Liverpool. There has to be a post-mortem of some kind, and I must confess to feeling that all the development was just too centred on the Quayside. Admittedly, what has been done to regenerate the area, particularly with the Baltic art gallery (now exhibiting Anthony Gormley's spectacular new work 'Domain Field') and the "blinking" Millenium Bridge, is tremendous - and a huge armadillo-shaped centre for music is currently under construction on the Gateshead bank of the Tyne. The planning and investment might, I think, have just been too focused.

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