New lease of life for the Exchange

Gerry Beldon, director of Beldons @ the exchange; Claire Willis, director of Day8; playwright Eddie Gorman, co-author of 'We Don't Cry Out Loud'; �ine and Sam Beldon, co-directors of Beldons; and Queen of the Kitchen Sonia Devine.
Gerry Beldon, director of Beldons @ the exchange; Claire Willis, director of Day8; playwright Eddie Gorman, co-author of 'We Don't Cry Out Loud'; �ine and Sam Beldon, co-directors of Beldons; and Queen of the Kitchen Sonia Devine.

A Grade II-listed building has been given a new lease of life as a thriving cultural hub.

For more than three years, the Exchange building on Howard Street, North Shields, has stood empty after previous incarnations failed.

But now the new board has set up a family-run bar and café, called Beldons, while production company Day8 Productions has also committed to the venue.

Director Claire Willis said: “We want to turn The Exchange building into a must-visit for locals and tourists.

“Our dream is that it will be a space where people will come to engage with culture in all its forms. We have a huge auditorium for hire where we can put on a range of live music, concerts, plays, dances and also large-scale theatrical productions.”

Bar and restaurant owner Gerry Beldon said: “The Exchange will be a great excuse to get out, see a play or watch a live band and enjoy a few drinks or a great meal.”

“We’ll be working hand-in-hand with the cultural side of the business and we’re aiming to start the ball rolling by putting out a call to anyone who might be interested in performing here.”

The new venue is open daily from 10am to 11pm. Anyone wishing to book events can contact the venue on (0191) 258 4111.