A WORLD-FAMOUS street which helped earn Newcastle its “party city” reputation is about to undergo a lottery-funded transformation.

During the 1980s and 90s, the Bigg Market became notorious as the centre for the city’s wild nightlife, with its dozens of bars and takeaways.

Now the Heritage Lottery Fund has announced an initial £202,800 grant towards the redevelopment of the area.

NE1, the city’s business improvement district company, has been awarded the money to develop a project which, it says, aims to reinvigorate the Bigg Market area and restore its historic significance to the city centre.

The body will then apply next year for a full grant of just over £1.6m lottery funding towards a total cost of £2.9m for the development.

While the Bigg Market is known across the globe for its pubs and clubs, it is also home to 31 listed buildings, an ancient market area and is close to other historic landmarks including St Nicholas’ Cathedral, the Castle Keep and Central Station.

The project aims to carry out essential conservation work including restoring listed buildings in the area.

Over the next 12 months NE1 will work with the Newcastle City Council and businesses to draw detailed redevelopment plans.

Sean Bullick, chief executive at NE1 Ltd said: “The Bigg Market has been failing to add value to the city for years; this project will reverse this.

“NE1’s vision for the Bigg Market, shared by Newcastle City Council and the business community, provides a real opportunity to re-create a historic quarter in Newcastle that is also commercially sustainable, making a positive contribution to the city centre in future”.