A CGI of the proposed Discovery Crucible, seen from Studley Terrace
A CGI of the proposed Discovery Crucible, seen from Studley Terrace

Newcastle Uni reveals ‘ambitious vision’ for General Hospital transformation

Newcastle University has revealed a vision to redevelop the former General Hospital site in the city’s West End.

The project will look to address the challenges of an ageing society by developing and expanding the 29-acre site into a mixed-use development incorporating elderly care, research facilities and a zone for housing and business space.

Newcastle University is leading the development vision in collaboration with Newcastle Hospitals and Newcastle City Council.

It follows an agreement for the university to acquire the site for £7.47m from Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the current owners.

The project will comprise three zones on land between Nuns Moor Road and Westgate Road.

The North could be anchored by a ‘Discovery Crucible’ housing laboratories and clinics.

For the central zone, the university is proposing a ‘spectrum of independence’ test-bed development encompassing a dementia-care village, care home, intermediate care facility and assisted living accommodation.

On the southern part of the site, the project could create a residential zone with business premises for small- and medium-sized enterprises and the university’s commercial partners.

The existing Westgate Walk-in-Centre at the South end of the site will remain as it falls outside the site purchased for re-development.

Prof. Chris Day, vice-chancellor and president at Newcastle University, said: “Our unique position with expertise in ageing, nutrition, digital science and tech combined with the forward-thinking nature of our city partners, particularly around the challenges of supporting an ageing population, could help transform this site.

“This is an exciting and ambitious vision which looks to the next 10 to 15 years to ensure that we are a world-leading hotbed of innovation and creative research in the field of ageing.”

Dame Jackie Daniel, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust CEO, commented: “This is an iconic site which has been at the heart of Newcastle’s healthcare for decades.

“This ensures that local people will be among the first to benefit from world class health research, developments and innovations within the NHS and on their doorstep.”

Newcastle City Council chief exec Pat Ritchie, said: “The City Council and Newcastle University have a strong track record of collaborating in the interests of the city.

“The proposed development on the former General Hospital site is a further progression of that close relationship in partnership with the Hospitals Trust which demonstrates our shared commitment to be at the forefront of innovation, creating safe environments with an integrated multi-agency approach to health and wellbeing to meet the needs of an ageing population.”

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