Urban regeneration company, Clouston Group, has delivered a further 40,000 sq ft of prime commercial space at its flagship, mixed-use scheme in the heart of Newcastle upon Tyne, having officially handed over one of the North East’s newest, multi-million pound educational establishments.

Set to significantly benefit thousands of the region’s young people for years to come, developer Clouston Group has officially handed over the new, visionary North East Futures University Technical College (UTC) at Stephenson Quarter, a strategic ten acres regeneration site providing superior commercial, social, leisure and retail accommodation in a location of significant historical importance.

Delivered in partnership with Galliford Try over a 15 months period, the new £12 million campus is unique in being the only new-build conservation project in Newcastle to be approved by Historic England without recommended planning modifications. It will now accommodate up to 600 students per annum aged 14-19 years old, including the very first intake of learners who started in October.

Richard Clouston, CEO of Clouston Group, said, “We are delighted to have delivered the new UTC building and played such a pivotal role in its development, from initial concept with ESFA backing through to construction and final completion. The campus has been thoroughly designed to support, benefit and enhance the opportunities for young people, and its location in the heart of the city centre will maximise links between education and the wider business community.

“The project also formed part of phase two at Stephenson Quarter allowing UTC to compliment and benefit from potential new occupiers moving to the site. Future proposals include the sensitive restoration of several listed buildings as well as an additional 60,000 sq ft of office accommodation, and this is designed to attract ambitious, high-growth companies to establish a dynamic digital hub for creative and high-tech industries.

“From inception, our intention has been to incorporate a diverse blend of uses to act as a catalyst for one another. By having education, hospitality, the arts, business and conservation all integrated into one site, we have transformed the area into an energetic and welcoming quarter of the city employing circa 3,000 people.”

A specially-appointed team, including construction partner, Galliford Try, leading planning and development consultancy, Lichfields and Newcastle-based, Xsite architects, was appointed by Clouston Group to deliver North East Futures’ UTC campus. Bespoke in concept and design, the modern building includes state-of-the-art learning facilities, vibrant social spaces, fit-for-purpose classroom environments and ergonomic study zones, and was sensitively delivered to preserve and incorporate many historic features.

The unique design also included approximately 10,000 sq ft of conservation space, integrating the remains of The Hawthorn Engineering Works, dating back to the Industrial Revolution, into the new building. Specially-sourced materials were also used to create visually-appealing, internal and external areas as part of masterplan proposals for Stephenson Quarter, once home to the world-renowned Robert Stephenson & Co locomotive works (established 1823).

Harvey Emms, Senior Director of Lichfields, said, “Lichfields was delighted to work on delivering this important scheme within such a sensitive and inspiring location. The quality of the team and the enthusiasm of all involved allowed the planning process to run smoothly and on time.”

Clouston Group is one of the North East’s most successful, family-owned urban development companies delivering high-profile schemes including Stephenson Quarter and Silverlink Business Park on North Tyneside. The company has created up to 900 jobs within the construction supply chain over the last few years, with Stephenson Quarter alone estimated to contribute £45 million per annum to the North East economy. Upon successful completion of future phases, this is expected to rise further to circa £150m per annum.

The development is part of a thriving and rapidly-expanding business district directly behind Newcastle’s Central Station, and home to a growing number of national and international blue-chip organisations. It also includes many listed buildings like The Boiler Shop which has been carefully restored and converted by Clouston Group into one of Newcastle’s most popular social venues.

Richard added, “Stephenson Quarter is delivering substantial benefits to the city, the people that it serves, our students, tourists as well as the North East business community. We have a clear vision to continue developing a meaningful scheme that embraces the companies that locate here, deliver accommodation to meet specific commercial needs, as well as create a vibrant urban and social area in the heart of Newcastle.

“Our plans have always been to preserve the site’s past from an industrial, archaeological and heritage perspective, in particular, its role in the development of the locomotive engine. It’s a site of great importance both historically and strategically moving forward, and one which offers great development potential, creating stronger economic outputs for the city as well as the region.”