Press Office


Science Central opens for business


This week sees an important milestone reached for the Science Central development with the unveiling of a major campaign aimed at attracting potential investors and developers to what is one of the country’s biggest city centre regeneration projects.

Science Central, a partnership between Newcastle City Council and Newcastle University, is now well underway with a masterplan and outline planning consent in place and a funding package in excess of £30million secured. Forming part of the Newcastle Science City initiative – the site is now officially open for business.

Local residents, businesses and academics who are involved in this exciting project have thrown their weight behind the development by becoming the faces of a campaign that will promote Science Central across the world.

Their 10ft high images will be seen on hoardings along the perimeter of the site and passers-by pointing their smart phones at the images can even see the ambassadors’ stories come to life on film via the Aurasma app. The campaign will also feature in marketing materials aimed at attracting investment and jobs.

Science Central Development Director Colin MacPherson said: “The Science Central site will be a place that lives up to its name; positioned in the heart of the city it will be central to Newcastle’s economic future and to the lives of those living and working here. The launch of the campaign signals the exciting next step in the development of the site as we begin to engage with investors who are interested in bringing their business to Newcastle.

Colin continues: “Science Central will be a vibrant quarter where local people can live, work and enjoy leisure time. The project will have huge potential to attract new businesses to the region and help support job creation and long term investment over the next 15 to 20 years.”

In addition to attracting hi-tech firms to locate within the city, Science Central will also  house some of Newcastle University’s world-leading research.

Professor Chris Brink, Vice-Chancellor at Newcastle University said: “Newcastle is already acclaimed as one of the UK’s most sustainable cities and the Science Central development will build on this, forming an integrated site where teaching and research sits alongside business and the community, ensuring we create a legacy for future generations to enjoy.”

The construction of the first phase is on course to begin this spring, with completion expected by autumn 2014. It will include a seven-storey office building for new and growing science companies so the project partners are keen to emphasise what a desirable investment opportunity this is – funded by the Regional Growth Fund, European Regional Development Fund, and new funding arrangements negotiated with central government under the Newcastle City Deal.

Newcastle City Council chief Executive Pat Ritchie said: “This is an important step forward for Science Central.  We’re accelerating our work to make Newcastle even more attractive for new jobs and investment – a Working City for the long-term.  This development is a clear signal to technology and science businesses from across the world that Newcastle is the place to be.”

To coincide with this exciting stage of the project’s development, a new website has also launched, Newcastle Science Central, communicating both the investment offering as well as keeping local people up to date with developments on the site and details on how they can get involved.

Science Central ambassador and local resident Hugh Stolliday said: “The investment and infrastructure changes which Science Central will bring are vitally important to the area – not only will the promise of job creation provide a much needed boost to the neighbourhood but the leisure facilities which are set to be part of the scheme will also really benefit everybody living in the local vicinity.

Hugh concludes: “I’m really confident that Science Central will help make the city and by extension the west end of Newcastle a better place to live, work and visit.”

Further information may be found on the Science Central website.

Photo Caption: (l-r)  Mrs Pat Richie,  Newcastle City Council Chief Executive; Professor Chris Brink, Vice-Chancellor, Newcastle University; Mr Hugh Stolliday, Development Manager, The Friends of Summerhill Ltd; and Mr Colin MacPherson, Science Central Development Director.

published on: 11 February 2013