MINISTER for the North-East Nick Brown has officially topped out the new Newcastle Building Society office building at Cobalt Business Park, North Tyneside.
The multi-million pound project will eventually be home to around 600 staff – though just 130 are due to move in when the building opens for business in the new year.
The minister placed a final cap on the curtain- walling glazing system at the main entrance of the office building.
He said: “This is an exciting new development, bringing local jobs to local people.
“Today’s opening is a great step forward for North Tyneside. I am delighted that Newcastle Building Society has chosen to expand its operations in the region.”
The four-storey building is a flagship structure at the entrance to Cobalt, which will be the country’s largest office park when completed with 3m sq ft.
The project is being supported by a £1.3m SFI grant from regional development agency One NorthEast.
Guy Marsden, director of Cobalt developer Highbridge Business Park, said: “It is testimony to the quality of workspace at Cobalt that Newcastle Building Society chose Cobalt as a base from which to expand its business.
“We are delighted to welcome such a respected and well-known institution to Cobalt, and are confident of securing further significant lettings next year.”
Cobalt totals 175 acres, already has more than 1.35m sq ft developed, and will expand much further now that Highbridge has acquired the Atmel factory, which is due to close in January.
North Tyneside Council is due to relocate its HQ and 950 of its staff to Cobalt at the end of this year, occupying 120,000sq ft.
On the Atmel site, Mr Marsden said no decisions had been taken on how it would be developed yet.
He said: “That is still under consideration. We are very much hoping to expand the park in that direction.”