The opening of Sage Gateshead in December 2004 marked the culmination of eight years of hard work by Gateshead Council, working with our many partners to turn a derelict site on the banks of the River Tyne into one of the finest centres for music anywhere in the world.
In 1996 the area was a vacant plot of industrial wasteland, but Gateshead Council had a vision to transform it. That vision was to turn the land into a world-class venue for people to make music, hear music and learn about music, a place where you can explore music.
When we embarked upon this project it must have seemed to many like an impossible dream, but Gateshead Council already had a track record of delivering impossible dreams, like creating Antony Gormley's Angel of the North and converting the derelict Baltic flour mill into an international gallery for contemporary art.
We believe it was the trust we built by delivering those initial schemes that gave our partners confidence that we could deliver an even bigger, more ambitious schemes like Sage Gateshead.
We also believe that's why we won the competition by Northern Arts (now Arts Council England North East) that resulted in them choosing our site, and why we then secured the funding from the Arts Lottery, the largest single award outside London, to design and build Sage Gateshead.
Our success in securing the funding gave confidence to our partners and gave Folkworks and Northern Sinfonia, the tenants of this building, the courage to make the bold decision to give up their independence and merge into North Music Trust, a new kind of musical organisation with a fresh approach to performance.
Sage Gateshead marks a major milestone in the completion of the new arts and cultural quarter - Gateshead Quays. On top of stunning musical performances it brings some very real benefits to our region, educational opportunities for young and old, jobs, tourism and new investment.
For more information, visit the www.sagegateshead.com
St Mary's Square
0191 433 4666