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Business & Economy

Newcastle Science Central moves forward as architect appointed

The scheme, which is being developed in partnership with LGC, Newcastle City Council and Newcastle University, will bring forward over 100,000 sq ft of Grade A office space and will be followed by a second office adding a further 100,000 sq ft to the site. These two office buildings, along with The Core – a 27,000 sq ft space for start-ups and SMEs – will form the gateway to Science Central. The area between the three buildings will also be transformed into a public square, improving accessibility to the site and providing a significant amenity for office workers, visitors and the surrounding community.

Newcastle Science Central is a 24-acre science and technology hub on the former brewery site, famed for brewing Newcastle Brown Ale. The development is located in Newcastle’s city centre and is set to create over 4,000 jobs, 500,000 sq ft of office space, and 450 new homes.  In June 2016 it was announced that Legal & General would become a long term investment partner on the £350m flagship site, alongside Newcastle City Council and Newcastle University.

There is strong demand in Newcastle for Grade A office space, but a lack or investors willing to speculatively build, creating a supply/demand imbalance. Newcastle Science Central is a prime example of what can be accomplished through innovative and collaborative working, and is testament to the hard work and commitment of the partnership between LGC, Newcastle City Council and Newcastle University. This partnership arrangement is one of the mechanisms that the council and partners have adopted to unblock this supply/demand issue which will create jobs and boost the local economy.

The announcement of Ryder Architecture’s appointment was made today 16 March 2017 at an event held on the Invest Newcastle stand at MIPIM, the world’s leading property trade show.

Laura Mason, Director of Direct Investments at Legal & General Capital, said: “Forming a significant next step in this major city centre regeneration project, the delivery of the Grade A office space will help to act as an important catalyst for further investment in Newcastle Science Central. With a proven track record in cutting edge, quality design, and experience working with the team on the laboratory facility, we feel confident that Ryder is the right firm to help us achieve our vision.”

Pat Ritchie, Chief Executive at Newcastle City Council said: “Newcastle is experiencing strong growth in the commercial office market, and there’s significant demand for Grade A office space in the city, particularly for large corporate occupiers. We’re responding to that demand on Newcastle Science Central, with significant development planned over the next five years.

“Ryder brings with them a wealth of experience, and this new building will help us realise our ambition to become a European hub for science and technology businesses, and create knowledge-based jobs of the future.”

Richard Wise, partner at Ryder, said: “Building A promises to deliver a high quality, timeless piece of architecture which will provide unique, much needed flexible office space on one of the most prominent gateway sites in Newcastle.  It will set the tone for the subsequent developments.  Ryder is delighted to have this opportunity to build upon the success enjoyed to date on Science Central.”

Ryder Architecture, alongside Aura, have been appointed as the design team to deliver the Newcastle Laboratory on Newcastle Science Central. This state-of the art building will provide over 70,000 sq ft of specialist facilities for the flourishing life sciences and healthcare sector in the region, offering high quality, incubation and grow-on space to meet the needs of innovative businesses in this sector. Construction is due to start on site in Spring 2017 and the facility is due to open in Spring/Summer 2018.