Newcastle Developer Plans an Ad-Funded Wheel Bigger Than London's Eye

By Gary Cutlack on at

There's a business called the World Wheel Company that exists only to install massive sightseeing wheels in cities around the world. And its next target is a sweet vacant bit of brownfield near the river in northern powerhouse Newcastle.

We're not sure this is allowed, but it has already created a nickname for the development – the Whey Aye. As in eye. As in wye aye. Something like that. The Wheel Company says it'll be 140 metres high, or a little bit taller than London's centrepiece wheel on the south bank of the Thames, and the highest wheel in Europe, plus, if plans go ahead, it'll create 550 jobs in the Newcastle Quayside.

Uniquely, the current plan is to wire in a 10,000 sq/m LED screen in the centre of the wheel, which will make it quite the banging party display on New Year's Eve or BBC sci-fi production backdrop, plus the developers might be able to make a bit of money on the side by screening advertisements for the Uber service that can drive you home.

The only problem is... the council hasn't given approval yet. Permission for the Newcastle wheel will be sought later in the year, so any comments you leave here might be printed out and used as evidence for or against.

WWC's local man in a hardhat Phil Lynagh said: "Representing an overall investment of more than £100m, it will create up to 550 local jobs and deliver local building contracts worth in excess of £20m. The developments will attract continued investment through more visitors spending an increased amount of time in the city and the region." [World Wheel Company via Sky News]