Planning approval gained for L&G’s first building at Newcastle Science Central
Designed by international design practice, Ryder Architecture, the 100,000 sq ft office building will create modern workspace for over 1,200 people in the science, technology and the knowledge sectors.
Newcastle Science Central is one of the biggest urban regeneration projects of its kind in the UK. Comprising a 24 acre science and technology hub on the former Newcastle Brown Ale brewery site, located in Newcastle’s city centre, the aim of the development is to become a major UK hub for scientific research and technology businesses, creating knowledge based jobs for future generations in Newcastle.
In June 2016 Legal & General Capital, the investment arm of Legal & General Group, became the long term investment partner with Newcastle City Council (NCC) and Newcastle University (NU), to build and finance the Newcastle Science Central development.
The office building will be clad in steel and glass, referencing the region’s steel manufacturing and ship building heritage. The earthy copper tones also link to the history of the site and this dramatic addition to the Newcastle skyline promises to set the standard for the future phases of the L&G investment programme. The building is designed to achieve British Council for Office (BCO) standards, with an occupancy ratio of one person per 8sqm net office space. Vehicle access, disabled parking and drop off points will be incorporated into the adjacent public realm. It will also benefit from a generous double height reception space and a café.
Rachel Dickie, Urban Regeneration Investment Manager at Legal & General Capital, commented: “This is an important step forward for this exciting city centre regeneration project, giving further visualisation to the quality and vibrancy of the urban landscape that will be created here at Newcastle Science Central in collaborative partnership with the council and the university. Working with leading architect, Ryder, it was important to us all that the design of this building pays homage to Newcastle’s rich history, while also embracing and supporting its technology savvy future. If planning is successful, we hope to be able to be on site by January 2018.”
Richard Wise, partner at Ryder said: “The application for planning approval for Plot 1 marks a significant milestone in the development of Newcastle Science Central. It is a clear signal of the intent and ambitions of Legal and General and the Science Central LLP. It represents the first significant tranche of private sector investment into what to date has been a predominantly publicly funded development.
“Ryder is delighted to be the lead consultant for the project enjoying a strong relationship with the client team and the wider Newcastle Science Central stakeholders. We look forward to delivering the next stages of the project.”
Newcastle City Council will manage and operate the building when complete.
This first office building is due to be followed by a second, adding a further 100,000 sq ft to the site. The two office buildings, along with The Core – a 27,000 sq ft space for start-ups and SMEs – will form the gateway to Science Central. The area between the three buildings will also be transformed into a public square, improving accessibility to the site and providing a significant amenity for office workers, visitors and the surrounding community.