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The Grand Hall

The Palace of Arts is the last building to survive from the North East Exhibition of 1929. Now some eight decades later it once again opens its doors to the good folk of the North East and beyond…


The North Coast Exhibition

The North East Coast Exhibition was a world's fair held in Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear and ran from May to October 1929. Held five years after the British Empire Exhibition in London, and at the start of the Great Depression the event was held to encourage local heavy industry.

It was opened on 14 May by the then Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII) in what is now Newcastle's Exhibition Park. When it closed on 26 October over 4 million people had attended (with an average of 30 000 visitors per day).

Several buildings were constructed in an Art Deco style to the designs of the official architects W and TR Milburn of Sunderland who had substantial experience in the fields of theatre and cinema design. Henry Kelly Limited of Newcastle were the builders and construction costs were £114,000 (just over £5 million in todays money).

The main buildings were the Palace of Engineering, the Palace of Industry, the Palace of Arts, the Festival Hall, Garden Club, a stadium of 20,000 capacity and the Women's and Artisans' sections. There was also an Empire Marketing Board Pavilion which was government sponsored and, unlike the other buildings, designed by government appointed architects.

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