The state government will launch the restored Newcastle Railway Station on Saturday, September 29, with a night of music and food open to the public.
The party, from 5pm to 10pm, will mark the start of Renew Newcastle’s tenure over The Station, the new brand for a venue which will feature a retail space for hand-made goods, a university technology lab, cafe, performance space, outdoor cinema and other activities.
Newcastle City Council approved this week a development application for Renew Newcastle’s activities at The Station despite objections from local residents about noise and the possibility of anti-social behaviour.
Revitalising Newcastle has made no secret of its desire to restore night life to the eastern end of the city and is living up to that promise with its opening-night party.
“Four live music acts will keep your toes tapping throughout the night, ranging from energetic brass and jazz to soul and ska,” the government organisation said on its Facebook page.
It said the party would have a “quirky, fantastical and surprising atmosphere” featuring fog machines, silver-service butlers, shoe-shine boys, roaming acrobats, artists, roulette tables and a fortune-teller.
“Local street food vendors and grazing tables laden with sweet treats will tantalise your taste buds.
“Delve into our city’s past and glimpse the future with Newcastle Region Library’s fascinating photo gallery, alongside a tech hub showcasing some of our city’s brightest thinkers.
“At the end of the night walk away with a keepsake, The Station’s very own newspaper!”
Transport Minister Andrew Constance and Planning Minister Anthony Roberts are due in Newcastle on Monday to inspect the station, the progress of the light rail project and Civic Station.
Revitalising Newcastle has been restoring the heritage-listed station buildings in recent months after filling in the platform area last year.
In June, the state government program awarded Renew Newcastle a tender to operate the station on an 18-month trial period.
Renew Newcastle has applied to Liquor and Gaming NSW for a liquor licence. Its application says the site has a capacity of 4500 people, but it is understood The Station will not include a full-time bar.
Several nearby residents have contacted the Newcastle Herald to say they were not aware of the licence application until last Thursday, the closing date for public submissions.
Liquor and Gaming NSW said it considered submissions on licences after the closing date for public feedback.
HDC’s development application sets out a variety of uses for the station’s buildings, including a virtual-reality lab, technology teaching and work space, a food and beverage preparation area and a 150-capacity room for comedy, music and theatre performances.
The platform would accommodate a mobile bar and cafe, cinema and theatre nights, musical performances, markets, food-truck events and exhibitions.
The application says all activity at the station will be confined to the ground floor.
Documentation on the council’s website includes 20 submissions objecting to the development application, including one on behalf of Newcastle East Residents Group.
Renew Newcastle’s activities on the site will start from September 30.