The Minister was the guest of honour at the official opening of Science Central. He was joined by Cllr Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council, and the Vice-Chancellor of Newcastle University, Professor Chris Brink, to commemorate the first phase completion.
To mark the occasion, the Minister laid a commemorative stone in one of the site’s newly developed public areas, Science Square. Originally the Elswick Colliery, and later the home of Scottish and Newcastle Breweries, the 24 acre Science Central is a long-term partnership between Newcastle City Council and Newcastle University, as part of the Newcastle Science City initiative.
Mr Clark later addressed an audience of business leaders in The Core, Science Central’s landmark £11.2m building, which opened in November.
“Science Central is a unique city centre development that will not only drive scientific advances and innovation in the region; it will create jobs and a thriving community to grow the North East economy,” he commented.
In January 2015, Newcastle University unveiled its £58m investment plan for Science Central, which includes a new Urban Sciences Building.
This aligns with the ambitions of the partnership to make Newcastle a smart city of the future, with Science Central as a flagship project bringing together academia, the public sector, communities, business and industry to create a global centre for urban innovation in the heart of the city.
Vice-Chancellor of Newcastle University, Professor Chris Brink said: “Our vision and commitment to being a world-class civic university means we do not just look at what we are good at but also what we are good for.
“Over the next four years, we hope to see Science Central grow to become an exemplar of urban sustainability research, bringing together academia, organisations, industry, democracy and communities to develop solutions that will make a difference to people’s lives across the globe.
“Working alongside policy makers, businesses and public organisations, Newcastle University’s plans will put ‘the first science on Science Central’ – the hub for digitally enabled urban sustainability research.”
Science Central has been part-funded through the European Union Regional Development Fund 2007-2013 (ERDF) and by the Regional Growth Fund.
For more information visit www.newcastlesciencecentral.com