Contractors have been appointed to start work on one of the country’s most ambitious regeneration projects in the heart of Newcastle city centre.
Hall Construction Services Ltd will begin work on Science Central in September to prepare the land to allow the first phase of building construction to begin in early 2013.
The project will form part of the Newcastle Science City initiative, building on the city’s existing scientific expertise seen in areas such as stem cell and regenerative medicine at the International Centre for Life and in ageing and healthcare at Newcastle University’s Campus for Ageing and Vitality.
The site will combine contemporary office space, house some of Newcastle University’s sustainability research and provide business support services for science and technology start ups. This will exist alongside a mix of retail, residential and sustainable living spaces, to create a thriving community in the heart of the city centre.
The contractors will undertake essential site-enabling works including the extraction of near surface coal to ensure any risk is removed from existing former shallow mine works to allow further development of the land; creating a permanently stable platform for all future buildings.
Located on the 24-acre site of the former Scottish and Newcastle Brewery, the work will be completed by summer 2014, bringing the reality of the new urban quarter into view for people living and working in the city, alongside potential investors.
Science Central Development Director Colin MacPherson said: "We’re entering a hugely important and exciting phase of development – these site-enabling works will allow us to create a solid platform from which the overall project can be fully delivered.
"This stage of development paves the way for the first building on site, the construction of which is anticipated to start in the early months of 2013 and is due for completion in summer 2014.
"We hope the local community will embrace the opportunities which will be generated throughout the evolution of the Science Central project and it is our vision that it will form a large part of the fabric of the city. It will be a vibrant quarter where local people can work, play and live, linking the West end to the city centre."
Backed by Newcastle University and Newcastle City Council, the scheme will have huge potential to attract new businesses and help support job creation and long-term investment for the city over the next 15 to 20 years.
Prior to site works beginning in September, a residents’ information event will take place on the August 23 at the Murray House Community Centre to ensure that the local community is provided with as much detail as possible about the scheme. More details can be found at www.newcastlesciencecentral.com
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