ONE of the North-East's best known music and concert venues has changed hands after its sale was agreed to a business group.

Owner Karl Watkin, who stepped in to save Newcastle's Tyne Theatre and Opera House four years ago, has finalised the sale to Infonow, a business consortium, in a deal believed to be worth between £2m and £3m.

The Westgate Road theatre, which dates from 1867, will now be known solely as Newcastle Opera House.

As part of its plans for the Grade I listed building, Infonow proposes developing two new restaurants.

Mr Watkin, said he hoped the theatre could provide an excellent venue for touring bands capable of attracting audiences of up to 1,000, but unable to fill the larger Telewest Arena.