Belong Heritage Gallery to revitalise historic Newcastle nightspot

2 FEB 2016

maxims-restoration-underway

A major new project to revitalise one of Newcastle-under-Lyme’s most historic buildings is underway, thanks to a £1.8m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Thanks to National Lottery players, the Belong Heritage Gallery will take the place of the former Maxims nightclub, which closed in 2006, as part of a wider £10m project for the site.

The gallery will form a major part of Belong’s newest care village on the same site, which will provide 24 hour nursing and dementia care facilities for 72 residents in six households and 28 apartments for independent living, along with a range of community facilities.

Tracy Paine, operations director at Belong, said: “The new project will create a dementia centre of excellence, allowing people to link their own lives to the past and draw on memories from around the community and explore the history of the area.”

Originally built as a home in the 17th century, the Grade II listed building was later converted into a pot works before being transformed again in the 18th century into a public house and then more recently into the iconic nightclub, Maxims.

Having fallen into disrepair since its closure, this project will rejuvenate the site into a facility for the community, bringing the storied history of the site back into the public’s mind.

As part of the development of the former Lower Street nightspot, Belong has been working closely with Newcastle Borough Museum, the New Vic Theatre and Prince’s Regeneration Trust to examine ways of using public art and bringing in local artists to exhibit their work.

They will also be working with the museum on plans to create a replica of the Pomona kiln base originally found on the site and now located at Newcastle Borough Museum. The feature commemorates the building’s past of being Newcastle’s only pottery and the replica is planned to sit in the courtyard of the gallery, which is approximately where the original kiln was stationed.

The wider care village project will continue to promote Belong’s commitment to providing quality care facilities for its customers, enabling them to be part of a vibrant community, while also providing specialist care services.

A reminiscence room will also be created on the site, showcasing photos, artefacts, and memorabilia revealing the history of the area, and visitors will also have access to IT facilities.

To find out more about the project, or about any of Belong’s other facilities, go to www.belong.org.uk