The 13,000-seat arena, which opened in September last year, has been chosen as one of the five most recognisable structures in England by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).
Gateshead’s Sage and the Library of Birmingham make up the list chosen by the board, who will also honour the people who built the chosen five at a special ceremony in London.
Last night the arena hosted the Tour de France opening ceremony, featuring performances from the likes of Brighouse band Embrace, Opera North and official tour anthem singers, Girls Aloud star Kimberley Walsh and York’s Alistair Griffin.
Tony Watson, director of sales, marketing and PR for the First Direct Arena, said: “After a night where the world watched us at the opening ceremony of the Tour de France, we’re delighted that the experts at the CITB have recognised the first direct arena’s iconic design and put us in the top five within the UK.
“From our unique 13,000 seater super theatre configuration to our external lighting display, everything here has been designed to deliver a great customer experience so we’re delighted to have received further accolades.”
Mr Watson said the construction team “delivered an outstanding venue”.
Anyone who was involved in the construction of the arena can nominate themselves to be recognised by the CITB as part of its Pride of Construction awards.
Mick Hamill, CITB regional delivery manager for the North of England, said it wanted to pay tribute to the individuals “who made this iconic building possible,”
He said: “We are looking for anyone involved on the construction of the First Direct Arena in some capacity, whether as
a scaffolder, site manager or an architect, for example. Whatever your contribution to the Arena’s construction, we want to hear from you.
“We hope that many of the people who worked on the Arena will take the opportunity to come forward and make themselves known to us so that they receive the recognition they deserve.”
To nominate yourself, or a friend or family member involved in the arena’s construction, visit www.citb.co.uk, tweet the CITB using #IBuiltThat or visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/citb.uk.
- Last month the arena beat competition from around the world, including the new Olympic Stadium in Sochi, the SSE Hydro in Glasgow and the Allianz Riviera stadium in Nice, to win the prestigious New Venue of the Year title at the Stadium Business Awards in London.