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Business & Economy

New designs offer glimpse at greener future for Newcastle Quayside

New plans that will transform the look of Newcastle’s Quayside into a greener space have been unveiled as restoration plans gather pace.

The Tyne Estuary Partnership — a collaboration between Groundwork NE & Cumbria, the Environment Agency, and Newcastle NE1 — invited firms to come up with environmentally friendly plans for the Quayside as part of its Design of Our Tyne initiative.

Two plans were shortlisted at a special event at Tyneside House: one from Newcastle-based construction and civil engineers Fairhurst, and the other from Blackburn’s SEL Environmental.

The Estuary Partnership were so impressed with the proposals that they awarded each firm £1,000 and are looking into ways both plans can be integrated and implemented on the Quayside.

This combined vision could see the area transformed into a green haven, with living walls, vegetated floating islands, and riverside boardwalks, as well as floating leisure facilities and boating options.

Rob Carr, Tyne catchment coordinator at Environment Agency, said: “The River Tyne restoration project is a wonderful opportunity to get creative, practical and environmental minds together to come up with a refreshing way of developing solutions to deliver a greener foundation for Newcastle Quayside.

“This will not only benefit the biodiversity of the area but will also have a knock-on effect for water quality, recreational prospects and the overall connectivity with the river.”

Lisa Stephenson, business development manager at Groundwork, commented: “Both presentations were really interesting and very different in their approach.

“They can definitely bring new things to the Partnership. Fairhurst were really strong on the policy, master planning and the overview side of the project, and SEL Environmental brought new technologies to the table that we’d never considered before enabling some of the ambitious plans to actually be implemented.

“These are exciting times ahead with the potential of working with both companies in moving forward.”

These restoration plans are still at the early design stage and any concrete proposals will need to be put before local authorities for planning permission to be granted.