Real estate advisory business GVA has published a report on urban development in the Newcastle core-city region: The Changing Face of Newcastle  (March 2017).  The report identifies key locations where change has occurred over the last ten years, major developments in progress and regeneration opportunities:

  • Trinity Gardens and East Quayside
  • The Stephenson Quarter (commercial and offices next to Central Station)
  • Central Station – featuring the pedestrianised portico
  • Downing Plaza, which houses Newcastle University Business School
  • Wellbar Central and Time Central  (office developments in Gallowgate)
  • The Rise, Scotswood (1,800 homes and open space)
  • Newgate Shopping Centre (575 student beds, a hotel, retail and leisure space)
  • East Pilgrim Street (retail, leisure, commercial and residential)
  • Science Central (24-acre site of former Newcastle Brown Ale brewery)

“One of Newcastle’s great strengths is its knowledge economy. Over 100,000 students live in the city and surrounding region and it has one of the highest graduation retention rates at 55%. There… remains significant demand to provide more student accommodation in and around the city centre and to provide further facilities for the universities.” [GVA 2017 report p9]  (NB: The student figure appears to be a regional one including Durham and beyond.)

The Newcastle Chronicle has a virtual tour of Science Central’s Urban Science Building on the former breweries site: From coal mining to science hub [5 Feb 2017]. This is due to open in summer 2017.

“Newcastle Science Central is being delivered through a private and public sector partnership, led by Newcastle City Council and Newcastle University. It is set to create over 4,000 jobs, 500,000 sq ft of office space, and 450 new homes.”

According to an article in the Newcastle Chronicle there are 43,000 full-time students in Newcastle city (including 10,000 international students).  Purpose-built schemes of student flats, the accommodation favoured by international students, have provided more than 2,000 students beds since 2015 and planned schemes, if fully realised, are likely to provide 6,000 more.  These privately-funded schemes typically provide single hotel-style rooms with en-suite facilities, shared kitchenettes, self-serve laundries and some communal spaces. They are built to different standards than residential blocks of flats for the general population.  Rents are around £140 a week (and rising faster than inflation). [Newcastle Chronicle 15 March 2017]

Newcastle is one of ten Core Cities who want “all our UK cities to be fully empowered to shape their own future” (i.e. seeking some devolution of decision-making powers).  You can read the letter they sent to Prime Minister Theresa May:  https://www.corecities.com/cities/agenda/blog/letter-rt-hon-theresa-may-mp-core-cities-uk-cabinet

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