Vision for a Science City

Article excerpt

Plans have been unveiled to make Newcastle a world-beating Science City that could create up to 5,000 new jobs in five years.

The multi-million pound project involves development on a number of sites in the city, including part of the former Scottish & Newcastle Breweries site.

Newcastle City Council, One NorthEast, and Newcastle University pledged to use Newcastle's Science City status to develop it as a world-class location for knowledge-based business, by building on the region's existing strengths in pioneering scientific research.

The plans are a response to the Government's decision last year to designate Newcastle as a Science City ( one of only six in the country.

The three organisations leading the project have formed the Newcastle Science City partnership, under the chairmanship of Paul Walker, chief executive of The Sage Group plc.

The project will develop collaborative activity from across the region, with other science and technology centres, including NaREC in Blyth; Netpark in Durham; The Wilton Centre in Redcar, Digital City in Middlesbrough and the University of Durham.

The centrepiece of the project is 100,000 sq m of new buildings with the working title of Science Central, accommodating world-class scientific research, teaching and business facilities.

Paul Walker said: "Science City status represents a unique opportunity for Newcastle and the wider region to capitalise on the significant research expertise and knowledge-based business that already exists here and to grow this to create jobs and new enterprise."

The aim is to generate employment and prosperity from the region's growing reputation for research into stem cells, aging, health, energy and molecular engineering. It's estimated that up to 100 new technology-based companies could be set up or attracted to the region by 2010.

Newcastle University will establish world-class research teams on the brewery and other sites, working with businesses that would also be located on the sites alongside the university's researchers and interested partner organisations, such as the NHS. The researchers would specialise in areas such as nanotechnology, bioscience and molecular engineering, which will be the boom industries of the future. …