The theatre’s business model bears fruit, as a local tech company signs a rental agreement that will deliver an ongoing revenue stream for its artistic and education work. 

Photo of the Quayside
The Live Works building fills a gap on Newcastle’s Quayside.

Jill Tate

A commercial workspace that forms part of a creative quarter being developed by Live Theatre on Newcastle’s Quayside is to become the headquarters of a specialist visualisation company, ZeroLight. The commercial letting of the Live Works building is part of ongoing diversification plans by Live Theatre.

The office development sits alongside existing commercial property acquired by Live Theatre. The whole scheme is costing £10.5m, paid for with a £2.1m grant from the North East European Regional Development Fund Programme, a loan from Newcastle City Council and grants from Arts Council England and a range of charitable foundations.

The rental income from the theatre’s commercial properties will provide an income stream to support the production of new plays, a talent development programme, and education and participatory work.

The tenant

The first Live Works tenant, ZeroLight, is a tech company which specialises in “in-store and online visualisation solutions for automotive brands”. Currently based in Gateshead, its recent success has led to it doubling its headcount and the move will enable it to cater for this and future growth in staff numbers.

Darren Jobling, CEO of ZeroLight said of the new premises: “The modern interior, prestigious location and world-class facilities provide the perfect setting for our continued growth as the world’s leading real-time 3D visualisation solution. We’re delighted to be moving to a new office location that reflects our position as an employer of choice and embodies our values of quality, collaboration and innovative thinking.”

Filling a gap

The Live Works building fills a ‘gap’ in the façade of Newcastle’s historic Quayside and is a finalist in the ‘New and Old’ category of the World Architecture Festival 2016.

It is set within Live Garden, a new garden and outdoor performance area linking the theatre with the Quayside. The Garden will be home to Live Tales, a new creative writing centre for young people, being launched next month. 

Liz Hill