New venue due to operate from October.

London-based venue operator Academy Music Group has added a site in Newcastle, North East England, to its expanding portfolio. Financial details of the Gala Bingo Hall acquisition -- announced today (April 25) -- were not disclosed.

Plans are to refurbish the venue to open for business as Carling Academy Newcastle from late October 2005.

The Westgate Road site was originally built in 1927 as a cinema. It was later renamed the Majestic Ballroom and hosted occasional performances -- including the Beatles in 1963 -- before being redeveloped as a bingo hall.

In a statement, AMG CEO John Northcote says that the purchase “fits into out strategy of opening in regionally important cities that have a strong music heritage."

Formerly known as McKenzie Group, AMG has two Academy venues in London -- Islington and the flagship Brixton venue -- and one each in Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool and Glasgow, Scotland. The company also operates the Shepherd's Bush Empire in West London and Bar Academy venues in North London and Birmingham.