The £70m Gateshead music centre will open its doors to the public in time for Christmas.

Norman Foster’s landmark music centre in Gateshead will open to the public on Sunday 19 December 2004. The Sage will be launched with a weekend of eclectic gigs representing the wide variety of music styles that will appear at the venue.

The £70m Gateshead Council project was designed by Foster and Partners, built by Laing O'Rourke, and supported by Arts Council England.

Councillor Mick Henry said: "The completion of this spectacular building is a major milestone in the area's regeneration that will once again put Gateshead on a world stage and we are tremendously excited about the programme of activity planned, which promises to maintain Gateshead's growing reputation."