Work begins on Newcastle's science business hub
Construction has begun on Newcastle’s new scientific business hub as the Minister for Universities and Science was on hand to plant an important part of the development.
David Willetts MP met with school children to plant a time capsule filled with their visions of what the Science Central development will be like when they grow up.
The project is one of the UK’s largest inner city regeneration undertakings and has secured a funding package in excess of £30m.
The Minister was joined Newcastle City Council Leader, Cllr Nick Forbes and Newcastle University’s Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation, professor Nick Wright.
Mr Willetts said: “The Science Central site will be a place that lives up to its name - positioned in the heart of the city - it will be central to Newcastle’s economic future and to the lives of those living and working here.
“The vision of the site in the school children’s drawings shows just how important this area is to them, and how excited they are by what is being built – we were all impressed with their imaginative drawings that have now been buried in time to mark the foundations being laid on our first building.”
Works are expected to be completed by Autumn 2014 at which point the development will have a seven-storey office building for science companies.
Cllr Forbes said: “Science Central is part of the high-tech revolution transforming our city for generations to come.
“It’s about creating highly skilled employment opportunities for youngsters like those here today burying the time capsule, and using our past to inform and shape our future.“g
Professor Wright said: “Science Central will combine cutting-edge architecture with new public spaces, the world-renowned expertise of Newcastle University and leading-edge businesses, to create a unique location in the heart of the city
“With work now underway on the first building, we will see the rise of a new quarter, central to Newcastle’s economic future and a hub for the scientific growth of the city.”
Mr Willetts was joined by children from Our Lady and St Anne’s RC Primary School. Headteacher Michael O’Brien, said: “We’re delighted to share in this exciting milestone for Science Central, and with ours to be the last school on the site, we have a strong connection with it.
“The children have really embraced their task in visualising what it’ll look like in years to come – they could be the people living and working here, and very much look forward to being part of it.”