The Core opens for business

Newcastle University has been working closely with the city council on the development of its Science Central urban quarter

With the opening of The Core, Newcastle’s multimillion-pound Science Central development is now established as a new quarter of the city centre. The Core provides contemporary office space for firms working on a range of future city challenges, including energy, transport, big data and cloud computing. The Newcastle City Council-owned building is managed by Creative Space Management.

The Core is an £11.2m building which has been funded through the European Union Regional Development Fund 2007-2013 (ERDF), Regional Growth Fund and Newcastle City Council.

At opening, the building is 90 per cent pre-let to tenants, including Urban Foresight, a consultancy for urban ecosystems, transport and energy sectors, and Axivity, a firm that has relocated from York and creates movement sensors. The building will also house nationally significant academic and industry research partnerships.

The Core has been designed with urban sustainability in mind. Features include a four-storey living wall, bee hotels, planted sedum roofs, rainwater harvesting and a series of adjoining public squares, all of which resulted in a recent sustainability ‘excellent’ award.

Leader of Newcastle City Council Nick Forbes said: “I’m delighted that the landmark building on Science Central is being opened both on time and on budget, bringing to life a brand new part of the city for the first time in nearly two decades.

“The Core is a prime example of how Newcastle is developing as a city, and planning for the future needs of the businesses that want to locate here. The building provides tenants with a modern, sustainable working environment which has helped to attract more and better jobs to the north east as businesses look to the region as a competitive and skilled place to invest in.”

Professor Chris Brink, vice-chancellor of Newcastle University, a key partner in the delivery of Science Central together with Newcastle City Council, said: “The opening of The Core marks a key milestone in the vision that the partnership has for Science Central to build a smart, sustainable city which links energy, transport and digital infrastructure in an urban context. It also demonstrates very vividly how Newcastle University acts as an anchor institution in the city.”

Director of Creative Space Management Toby Hyam said: “We’ve been overwhelmed with demand for space at The Core. Companies want to be a part of the new community that is emerging at Science Central, not least because of the scale of investment in research facilities that Newcastle University is making for the Institute of Sustainability and the Digital Institute.

“The crossover between technology and the real challenges that growing cities are facing is particularly interesting to our clients and several see the potential for partnership work which will create new markets and products.”

Mike Foggon, regional director of Faithful+Gould which provided project management services, said: “The project has been an outstanding example in collaborative working with the client, contractor, and design team working together proactively to deliver this high quality, sustainable project within budget.”

Science Central is a 24-acre development delivered by Newcastle Science City, a partnership between Newcastle City Council and Newcastle University. Newcastle City Council has led on the development.

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