Newcastle’s global hub for urban innovation enters next phase in development

North East | Property & Construction

Newcastle Helix

A new round of construction and investment is underway for Science Central, the UK’s biggest urban development site outside London and an internationally-renowned innovation centre for sustainable engineering, ageing and data sciences

In recognition of the move to a new phase of development, research, and collaboration which will firmly launch it as a leading international innovation quarter, the site is being re-named Newcastle Helix.

Newcastle Helix is a £350 million flagship project bringing together academia, communities, business, industry and the public sector.

The site is a partnership between Newcastle University, Newcastle City Council, and Legal & General, and is already home to Newcastle University’s award-winning Urban Sciences Building and The Core, a seven-storey home for knowledge based science and technology SMEs.

Leader of Newcastle City Council, Councillor Nick Forbes said: “Our ambitious plans for this site continue to progress and as work on the site moves to the next phase we feel it is the right time to rename the site Newcastle Helix.

“The ground-breaking developments that are taking place will firmly position our city as a major national and international hub for scientific research and technology businesses, creating knowledge based jobs for future generations in Newcastle.

“Not only will we be creating more office and research space for businesses and academics in the new, state-of-the-art buildings, but work will also start on the residential element of the site, which will result in 450 homes right at the heart of the city for both families and those looking for apartment living.”

The third building on the site – the ‘Newcastle Laboratory’ – will open later this year, providing laboratories and offices for a wide range of scientific based companies, primarily life science and healthcare.




Being transformed into an exemplar of urban sustainability, this unique site is a testbed for innovative technologies and solutions that will tackle some of the most pressing challenges facing cities around the world, such as flooding, resilient infrastructure and energy.

Drawing on the expertise of key industry partners such as Siemens, Microsoft and Northumbrian Water, the aim is for Newcastle Helix to improve the lives of people not just in Newcastle, but all over the world.

Newcastle University Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Chris Day, explains: “The North East of England has been at the forefront of innovation for more than 200 years from Stephenson’s Rocket and Charles Parsons’ invention of the steam turbine, to being granted the world’s first ever licence to offer fertility treatment to mothers affected by mitochondrial diseases.

“Now, Newcastle Helix is set to be a site of world-leading research and technological advances alongside global businesses that will enable us to write the next chapter in our region’s enviable story of invention and innovation.”

Central to the ongoing success of Newcastle Helix is the unique public/private sector partnership between Legal & General, Newcastle City Council and Newcastle University. The investment this has secured has driven forward the ambitions for the site and the city.


The development plans for Newcastle Helix will feature as part of the Great Exhibition of the North. The country’s biggest event in 2018, the exhibition has a packed programme of exhibits, live performances and new artworks.

The exhibition’s Get North Innovation Trail includes the Helix site and visitors will be able to learn more about the future of Newcastle Helix as they walk along the trail.

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