The prominent Newcastle city centre Science Central development is moving forward once again with construction of the first building starting on site, and is scheduled to open in Autumn 2014.
The Core, Science Central, is a seven storey building with 38,000 sq ft of floor space for lease, and is being designed with new and growing knowledge-based businesses in mind – a place for collaboration, a place where people come together to share skills and knowledge, and where ideas are generated and futures made.
Science Central is now firmly open for business, with site enabling works due for completion in August, a master plan and outline planning consent in place, and a funding package in excess of £30 million secured to develop the initial phases of the site. The facility will be complemented by a well-established business support network to create a unique environment where researchers and businesses can thrive alongside one another.
The 24 acre site forms part of Newcastle Science City – an initiative established to promote Newcastle as a city of science excellence and support the attraction of investment into the city. The development will build on Newcastle’s existing knowledge and scientific expertise in stem cell and regenerative medicine at the internationally acclaimed Centre for Life, and Newcastle University’s award-winning Campus for Ageing and Vitality, located on the site of the former General Hospital.
As one of the biggest urban regeneration projects in the UK, the site will become a focus for the city’s expertise in sustainability and digital technologies. To support this, Newcastle University plan to locate some of its digitally-enabled urban sustainability research on the site, through the expansion of its Institute for Research on Sustainability (NiRES).
Based in the city centre, on the former Scottish and Newcastle Brewery site, Science Central aims to attract hi-tech firms to locate within the city. With a planned creation of up to 1,900 jobs over the next 15 to 20 years, the development will support economic growth in the area, and will bring a much needed boost to the local neighbourhood.
The development will provide a specialist business support hub and state-of-the-art facilities for small start-up science and technology companies as well as inward investors. The development will include complementary leisure and retail facilities, including a ‘live zone’ accommodating up to 350 new residential properties, built to the highest environment al standards.
Considerable momentum has been generated by the neighbouring Downing Plaza development, which incorporates Newcastle University’s Business School completed in early 2011, plus extensive student accommodation across three buildings. This has brought a significant new population of students and university employees to the area, and Downings have submitted further plans for a student residential tower, giving Science Central the opportunity to access scientific and commercial talent right on its door step.
Funded by the Regional Growth Fund, European Regional Development Fund, and new funding arrangements negotiated with central government under the Newcastle City Deal, Science Central promises to be an exemplar in sustainability, connecting and restoring a key area in the west end of Newcastle and creating a new urban quarter in the city.
For more information, please visit the website www.newcastlesciencecentral.com.