NEWcastle: exciting new developments coming to our city

News editor Em Richardson looks at a trio of interesting developments taking place in Newcastle city centre.

Em Richardson
23rd October 2019
Three new architectural developments are coming to Newcastle, bringing promises of 10,000 new jobs and over £600 million in investment. However, the developments, situated at the Stephenson Quarter, the Helix site and Pilgrim Street, have all faced complications.

Construction on the Helix began in 2004, funded by One NorthEast, Newcastle City Council and Newcastle University, with the first building on the site opening in 2014. After One NorthEast was abolished in 2010, the project was funded solely by the council and Newcastle University, until Legal and General invested £65million in the site in 2016.

The Helix site is considered a centre for science and technology. It currently features several completed buildings, including Newcastle University’s Urban Sciences Building.

Over the next few years, several of the site’s buildings are due for completion, including office blocks for leading science and technology-based companies. It is hoped that all buildings on site will be completed by 2024, with an estimated 4000 on-site jobs generated by this date. The completed site will also provide space for numerous university students and researchers.

Construction on the Stephenson Quarter has also been planned for some time, but was delayed by the 2008-2009 financial crisis. The development is situated behind Central Station, on the site of the now-redundant Robert Stephenson & Co. Locomotive Works.

Developers Clouston Group, working along-side Newcastle City Council, previously hoped to build a hotel, carpark and a University Technical College on the site. They also hoped to refurbish historic buildings on the site.

Yet, the project came to a stand-still in 2018, when the council terminated its contract with Clouston Group, alleging that the developers had failed to make previously agreed payments.

A revised plan for the site has now been produced, with hopes of attracting a new developer. The council has failed to specify a completion date for the project, but claims it will create 2000 jobs.

Finally, plans are in place for exciting new developments on Pilgrim Street.

Over the last decade, the billionaire Reuben brothers have already funded a large number of building projects on the street.

Now, disused buildings have been demolished, and there are plans to build an office block on the former Bank of England site, a hotel in the ex-fire station, and a £200million ‘leisure, shopping and living scheme’ at the top end of the street. Planning permission was granted for the bank development last month.

Time will tell if these exciting developments are able to deliver on their promises of numerous jobs and financial investments for the people of Newcastle.

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