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Home » Developers Hope To Complete Newcastle Regeneration Scheme In ‘three Or Four Years’

Developers Hope To Complete Newcastle Regeneration Scheme In ‘three Or Four Years’

Developers of a key North East regeneration site that has been in progress for almost two decades say they are hopeful of finally completing the site within the next three or four years.

The Stephenson Quarter site behind Newcastle’s Central Station dates back to 2004 but has been beset by a series of challenges, including changes of developer, a contractor going bust and difficulties stemming from the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis. The scheme is now a partnership between Igloo Regeneration and Newcastle City Council and has celebrated a major milestone with the completion of work on the Pattern Shop, a listed building where industrial pioneer Robert Stephenson built steam locomotives for export around the world.

The building has been converted into office accommodation in a £9m project that has aimed to retain key historic features of the building while developing a modern workspace. With spectacular views across the Tyne from its top floor, the building has attracted interest from a number of potential tenants.

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Work started on the Pattern Shop development in 2022 but was held up when it was close to completion when building firm Tolent went into administration. The project has been completed by construction firm Robertsons, while North East companies Xsite Architecture, Cundall and Black and White Engineering were also involved.

Pippa Heron, development manager at Igloo, said: “This is really important because it’s the first phase – it sets the tone for how the rest of the Founders Place masterplan goes forward. The Pattern Shop is the centre of the development and brings together the existing occupiers of Stephenson Quarter – the university technical college, the Crowne Plaza, the Boiler Shop and the office blocks at Central Square.

“We’re confident that the rest of the scheme is going to come forward. This building has had its challenges but we’ve got there, and that’s been through really good partnership working with Igloo and the council.

“Now, for everything to get completely done, we’re probably looking at three or four years. It’s taken us a while to get to this point for various reasons but we’re keen to get cracking, subject to planning of course.”

Later schemes of the work will include the construction of the Pioneer, a 10-storey office block with outdoor terraces and panoramic views across the city, as well as 80 zero-carbon homes and other commercial buildings. Founders Place, which makes up part of the wider Stephenson Quarter, includes a mix of new buildings and heritage buildings that are being renovated for employment use. Because of its close proximity to Central Station, the area is seen as a key regeneration site.

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