Science park for Newcastle

Designs to create Europe’s finest science quarter in the heart of Newcastle upon Tyne’s city centre were revealed yesterday.

Newcastle Science City’s plan for Science Central, on the former Gallowgate brewery site, includes imposing new streets, a new city square, landmark buildings and wide public spaces.

The 19-acre site will host a place for scientific exploration connected and accessible to the community with the potential to create thousands of new jobs. It will be home to Newcastle University’s research institutes, Newcastle College’s new School of Applied Sciences and a specialist business support hub. It will also provide facilities for start up companies.

Private and student accommodation will be provided, along with leisure and retail facilities.

The plan for the site describes specific zones: the Facing the City zone will be commercial space, the Science at the Heart central zone will be for science related research and commercial spin out companies; the Living amongst Science zone to the north west of the site will be a residential area; the Living in the City zone in the southern part will provide high quality family townhouses and apartments. Newcastle Science City’s partners are planning to use alternative energy from renewable sources for the entire development.

The Science Central plan, drawn up by EDAW in conjunction with the Newcastle Science City partners, will now be translated into a detailed development framework with design guidelines for the site. Once this stage has been completed Newcastle Science City will apply for planning permission for the development and search for a suitable development partner. Work is estimated to start on the site in 2011.

Newcastle City’s council leader John Shipley said: ‘Science Central is hugely important to Newcastle and the economy of the region as a whole. It puts us on the international science and technology map and provides a fitting home for the outstanding research taking place in the city. Furthermore, it is the gateway to the West End of the city and we will do all we can to ensure it brings opportunities and benefits right across this part of Newcastle.’

Newcastle University’s vice-chancellor Professor Chris Brink added: ‘As a modern civic university, Science Central is an integral part of our strategic thinking regarding excellence with a purpose. This visionary development will help the university attract top students and staff, putting us in an even stronger position to play a part in the economic development of our city and region.’