Backpackers hostel planned for former Journal headquarters
THE 19th-Century headquarters of The Journal is set for a new life as a 180-bed backpackers hostel.
It would be the second major backpackers base in Newcastle city centre.
The 177-bed Albatross backpackers hostel opened four years ago in a listed, former bank building in Grainger Street.
Now city councillors are being advised to back plans on Thursday for the conversion of the empty former Journal building off Falconar Court to the rear of Clayton Street, which was last used as a warehouse.
The plans include a cafe and three floors of dormitories in the building, which is behind the 18th-Century Assembly Rooms.
Planners say the site is located in what may ultimately become a much more accessible location if plans to redevelop the nearby Newgate Shopping Centre go ahead. If this scheme progresses then a new chare would be created running to the site directly from Newgate Street, opening up this part of the city considerably.
They advise the principle of basic backpackers style accommodation is acceptable in such a city centre location, given the easy access to the nearby Central Station.
“The site is located in what is currently an uninviting and almost abandoned alleyway and introducing a use which is likely to be occupied 24 hours of the day into that environment will almost certainly assist in making this area safer and more attractive,” say planners.