Riding a wave of optimism

April 23, 2020

FEATURED IN HOTSPOT

Regional business figures reveal why The Catalyst will position the North East as a national and global innovation bellwether

The Catalyst, the new cutting-edge building on Newcastle’s Helix development will inspire growth and become an international flag bearer for the region’s innovation and data expertise, says Dynamo chair Charlie Hoult.

“The Catalyst will help us climb the rock face of innovation and digital work,” he adds.

“We’ve already got great tech businesses such as Sage and organisations such as HM Revenue and Customs here, and the BBC is looking to open a site too,” continues Charlie.

“These strong brands signpost our region, and developments like the National Innovation Centres for Ageing and Data within The Catalyst will continue to attract people with great expertise to our city.

“We also want our students to think globally and have no limits to their ambition, and The Catalyst will help inspire that existing talent because there is great potential to make it an international venue,” adds Charlie.

His enthusiasm is echoed by Jen Hartley, director at Invest Newcastle, the organisation that helps firms locate, expand and grow in the city.

Emphasising The Catalyst’s leading-edge facilities, which reinforce Newcastle’s standing as a Digital Leaders 100 Smart City of the Year award winner, she says the building can be a beacon for local and international growth.

“The Catalyst is a focal point for the strengths we’ve been speaking about in this region for years,” says Jen.

“When people visit – we’ve been able to bring UK ministers, the Japanese ambassador and companies here – their jaws drop to the floor. “We are definitely riding a wave of optimism.”

Ged Bell, Newcastle City Council’s cabinet member for employment and culture, says The Catalyst epitomises the city’s industrial evolution.

Highlighting its position on the former Elswick Colliery – which latterly became a Scottish and Newcastle Breweries’ bottling plant – he says: “This is really accelerating our expertise.

“Scottish and Newcastle Breweries brought jobs for a number of generations, but when industry changed, Newcastle was at the forefront in terms of going for the science, digital and healthcare sectors.

“Ever since then, we have seen success build on success.”

For more information, visit www.thecatalystnewcastle.co.uk

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