Nissan, Car-Parks and Get Carter

A hearty slap on the back to Nissan’s PR department, who have marked the end of the iconic Gateshead car-park featured in Get Carter with a stunning photoset and video of the Nissan Juke doing its stuff around the building.

The brutalist Trinity Square car-park, designed in 1962, is due to be pulled down by Tesco’s development subsidiary as part of a scheme to regenerate the area. Opened in the mid-60s, the car-park services a Gateshead shopping centre but was poorly-received and weathered badly. Rather poignantly, a cafe built into the structure on the roof never opened.

It did find a kind of fame though, when Michael Caine threw the bloke out of Coronation Street off the top of it during his vengeful search for his brother’s murderer. Get Carter paints a pretty bleak image of Newcastle and the north-east, but the flick has given the striking Trinity building a level of fame, even if there is little fondness for it.

Nissan has got the final use of it, with Wearside employee Nigel Sidney getting the car-park to himself for a spot of hooning in the new Juke, which is built down the road in Sunderland. It’s a sign of how Nissan has become embedded in the area that the Juke drive has come to pass at all.

Leader of Gateshead Council, Councillor Mick Henry said, “This structure has dominated Gateshead Town Centre since 1969 and been a constant talking point. Today is the last time any car will drive on it, so it seems fitting that a model made in our region be involved in bidding farewell.

“It is the end of an era and we anticipate that travel to and around the new development in the town centre will change beyond recognition from what we built here in the 1960s.”

The demolition of the site seems rather a shame to us, with plans to redevelop the site coming to nothing, as one man’s derelict car-park is another man’s Barbican.

But perhaps that’s the price of progress. Something that, in the car industry, we’re constantly reminded of.