£100m ‘Whey Eye’ project planned in Newcastle

Developers plan to build Europe’s tallest observation wheel on Newcastle Quayside in a project that would see more than £100 million invested in the city

Dubbed ‘The Whey Aye’, the wheel will be 140 metres high – five metres taller than the London Eye.

The wheel will also have a world-record-breaking 10,000 square-metre LED digital screen as its centrepiece, which will display information about local culture, social media content and advertising.

It is earmarked for the vacant site of the former Spillers’ Flour Mill, which was demolished in 2011.

The wheel will offer 30-minute ‘flights’ and there are plans to accommodate more than 800,000 visitors in its first year.

Furthermore, the plans include a pedestrian zone with bars, restaurants and a visitor attraction called the Giants of the North Experience, which will celebrate the region’s famous creative and sporting individuals and communities.

There will also be an entertainment centre and a multi-purpose play and sports complex.

The plans were announced by Hong Kong-based World Wheel Company, which has built and operated giant observation wheels and family entertainment centres around the world, including wheels in China, and Georgia.

Football commentator and former Newcastle United star Alan Shearer said: “I think it would be great news for Newcastle. It’s just what the city needs – a new iconic attraction that celebrates our rich history and culture, while creating jobs and income for the people.”

Phil Lynagh, chief executive of World Wheel Company’s Newcastle operation, said: “Representing an overall investment of more than £100 million, it will create up to 550 local jobs.

“The developments will attract continued investment through more visitors spending an increased amount of time in the city and the region.

“It will also further enhance the north east’s global reputation for technological and industrial innovation whilst celebrating Tyneside’s heritage and supporting its future.”