Nexus is drawing up plans for the refurbishment of Byker Metro station, which would happen in 2025 subject to funding.
We will be sharing these plans with the community as this project develops. There is one important question we would like local people to tell us their views on now, so we can build this into our initial plans.
When Byker station opened in 1982 it featured a floor-to-ceiling glass wall at the rear of the ticket concourse, facing onto the railway tracks and providing a view towards the Ouseburn valley and Newcastle City Centre.
The glass did get vandalised and was eventually removed and replaced by solid panels. Since 2003 this rear wall, which measures 11 metres by 2.5 metres, has instead been used to display a changing sequence of temporary art works.
Some have been community projects funded by Arts Council England, Newcastle City Council and other bodies, and some have been partnerships with galleries including Baltic and Northern Print.
We now want to know which approach local people would like us to take as we plan to refurbish the station:
Option A: Continue to use the rear wall for temporary artworks on display for between six months and two years. We would improve lighting, make it easier to mount works and install an interpretation panel as part of the refurbishment. We would continue to work with the local community on arts projects for the station.
Option B: Return the rear wall to glass. We would seek external funding for a permanent art commission designed into the glasswork as part of this. If successful we would include local people in working with the artist on the final appearance.
We would like to know if you prefer Option A (temporary art space) or Option B (glass wall), or if you have any alternative ideas or suggestions for us.
This consultation was open from 23 June to 10 July 2023.