It’s nice to have something
FROM major roadworks finishing to high-profile events taking place, here are 10 things we can look forward to in 2019.
There are plenty of things going on around the North East – preparations are being made for popular concerts and big sporting events, and a number of lengthy projects are scheduled to complete. Motorists are being promised some relief on the roads, and rugby fans have a few exciting dates for the diary.
Here we take a look at some of the things we can expect later this year.
1. World Transplant Games coming to Newcastle/gateshead
We’ve been picked to host the World Transplant Games in August 2019 and preparations are well under way.
More than 3,000 participants from 50 different countries will descend on the North East, all of whom have had successful organ and tissue transplants.
Among the venues to be used are Gateshead International Stadium and Sports Central, in Newcastle.
The games are highly regarded across the globe, as they demonstrate the physical success of transplant surgery and the ability of recipients to lead healthy, normal lives.
2. Spice Girls, Rod Stewart, Rick Astley and Take That to perform in North East
We have some big names coming to our neck of the woods. The Spice Girls, who will go back on the road together in 2019 without Victoria Beckham, will be seen at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light in June. Sir Rod Stewart will take to the stage at Newcastle Metro Radio Arena in July and Take That will be performing at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium on June 1.
Meanwhile, 1980s icon Rick Astley has been announced as one of the performers at the Mouth of the Tyne Festival. He will be at the Tynemouth Priory and Castle on July 13.
3. Lumiere will return to Durham for 10th anniversary spectacular
Lumiere Durham will be back in 2019 with an extra-special programme to mark its 10-year anniversary.
The hugely-popular light festival, which transforms the city’s ancient streets and buildings every other year, always attracts crowds of around 200,000 during its run.
It is due to take place between November 14 and 17, and is promising to be a big birthday celebration showing off Durham in - literally – a new light, as it brings back festival favourites from the past decade as well as new artworks.
4. Silverlink roadworks to finish
This has been a pain for drivers for more than two years. Work has been taking place to build a triple-decker roundabout at the A19 and A1058 Coast Road junction, in North Tyneside, since summer 2016. Ever since then, the surrounding roads have had a reduced speed limit of 30mph, controlled by cameras, as well as various contraflows. The area is severely congested at peak times because of this. But motorists will be relieved to know the work is due to finish in March 2019.
5. Tyne Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnels to re-open
The historic Grade Ii-listed tunnels are currently closed for refurbishment and are expected to re-open in early 2019.
It’s been 10 years since the North East Combined Authority first decided to renovate the tunnel and six years since work began.
Opened in 1951, it was once used by tens of thousands of shipyard workers crossing between Howdon and Jarrow every day.
But it had fallen into disrepair and what was first envisaged as a relatively short renovation turned into a wholesale overhaul.
The project has been beset by problems throughout, including the main contractor going into administration and serious asbestos
■ City Pool and Turkish Baths
■ Delegates from the World Transplant Games Federation in Newcastle ahead of this year’s games
■ Illumaphonium, at a previous Durham Lumiere. This year is the event’s 10-year anniversary