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Business & Economy

WBD advises Newcastle City Council on joint venture

Law firm Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) has advised longstanding client Newcastle City Council on its joint venture with private sector developer PfP igloo. The partnership will complete the rebirth of the Stephenson Quarter – one of the UK’s most high-profile development sites.

The joint venture, Stephenson Works LLP, will continue the regeneration of the 4.3 acre of brownfield land behind Central Station and create a vibrant quarter for the regional economy with new residential development, office space, and leisure and public facilities. The development will create around 2000 jobs and attract residents, businesses and visitors to the city and wider region.

Phase one of the development has already seen the creation of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Rocket Offices, the Boiler Shop venue, a multi-storey car park and a University Technology College. As part of phase two, and with an investment to the tune of £104m, six plots of land owned by the council will be developed by the new joint venture over a seven-year period.

The WBD team advising Newcastle City Council was led by legal director Iain Pritty and senior counsel Ian Ward. They provided key legal expertise on the proposed joint venture structure, assisted with all aspects of the procurement process and led the negotiations in relation to the real estate and corporate matters associated with this complex transaction.

Ian Ward of WBD said: “Helping our clients to support the North East economy is an important strategic goal for WBD and so we’re thrilled to have acted for Newcastle City Council on this exciting joint venture with PfP igloo. It’s great to see the public and private sector coming together to form partnerships such as this one in order to create jobs, boost investment and revitalise derelict sites at the heart of the city.  The fact that the deal got agreed and signed in these challenging times is testament to the opportunities for long term growth and development in Newcastle.”

Michelle Percy, director of place at Newcastle City Council, commented: “It’s been a pleasure working with the WBD team again and we’re grateful for their ongoing commitment and excellent legal expertise. Being able to rely on a local team of lawyers, from a large international firm, with the right regional know how and understanding of the market and the city, has been key for us.”

As the largest law firm in the North East, WBD has deep roots in the region and its largest UK office of over 200 qualified advisors is based in Newcastle. The firm is committed to playing its part in the future prosperity of the North East and Cumbria by using its local, national and international reach and expertise to benefit the region’s leading sectors, businesses, people and organisations.

WBD advises clients across eleven sectors of expertise and also works closely with UK Local and Central Government authorities, as well as other organisations in the wider public and third sector. The firm advises the UK Government’s Crown Commercial Service, providing a full-service of legal expertise across a range of disciplines, including general commercial, litigation and employment advice. WBD was also appointed as a Tier 1 firm advising Central Government Departments, Agencies and Arms’ Length Bodies.