Team assembled for project to build Europe’s biggest observation wheel in Newcastle

The company behind a project to build Europe’s tallest observation wheel in Newcastle has appointed an advisory team to bring the scheme to fruition.

Developer World Wheel Company will build the wheel, nicknamed ‘The Whey Aye’, on the Quayside with the help of nine companies from across the North East and Yorkshire.

Appointed to the development are communications agency SHA, commercial law firm Muckle, international design practice Ryder Architecture and retail property consultants @Retail, all headquartered in Newcastle.

Also working on the project are Leeds-based PR company Brand8 PR, geotechnical consultancy Golder, planning consultancy Lichfields, transport planning group Systra and the business banking arm of Barclays.

Subject to planning approval, the observation wheel will stand almost 460 ft high – making it 16 ft taller than the iconic London Eye.

Forecasts suggest it could see over £100m invested in the city and help create up to 550 jobs.

The Whey Aye would anchor a 344,500 sq ft development that includes a new food and beverage destination; a ‘world-leading’ visitor attraction; a family entertainment centre; and a multi-purpose play and sports complex with covered five-a-side pitches, tennis courts and a virtual golf club.

Phil Lynagh, the CEO of World Wheel Company’s Newcastle operation, based on Leazes Park Road, said: “We believe we have assembled the strongest possible team of professional advisers to help us deliver our proposed development.

“Each of the organisations are highly regarded in their respective fields. Working together they make an outstanding collective focused on enabling one of the most exciting investment and regeneration projects in the UK.”

Hong Kong-headquartered World Wheel Company said a trip on the observation wheel would last 30 minutes. It could accommodate more than 800,000 people in its first year.

If approved, the entire development is expected to take 18 to 24 months to build.

A detailed planning application for the wheel and visitor attractions will be submitted to Newcastle City Council later this year.

The image above shows, L-R: Rob Smith (Brand8 PR), Libbie Henderson (Muckle), Martin Griggs (Barclays Business), Nigel Hartley (World Wheel Company), Phil Lynagh (World Wheel Company), James Finch (Systra), Daran Atkinson (SHA), Justine Matchett (Lichfields), Mark Thompson (Ryder Architecture) and Deborah Lazenby (Muckle).

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