Regeneration and its positive impact across the North East

There has been much talk over the last 20 years about regeneration. Jargon like hard and soft regeneration, social and physical regeneration, or urban and rural regeneration is commonly bandied around

There has been much talk over the last 20 years about regeneration. Jargon like hard and soft regeneration, social and physical regeneration, or urban and rural regeneration is commonly bandied around.

From our perspective in the property sector, we are engaged on a day-to-day basis in property developments which can transform our towns and cities.

This is hard or physical regeneration but it can lead to soft or social regeneration. It can change perceptions of a place, create jobs, alter the local economy and the demographics of a population.

From time to time, towns, cities and even regions need to reinvent themselves when their ‘raison d’être’ no longer exists.

Invariably in the North East, due to the area’s lower property values and the scale of the problems, these large-scale transformations have been conceived and kick-started by the public sector. The effect of these schemes can go far beyond the boundaries of a scheme.

The development of the Newcastle Quayside and East Quayside is one of the best examples of a successful regeneration scheme which has significantly impacted on the overall regional economy and perceptions of the city.

The initial infrastructure and planning inputs of the former Tyne & Wear Development Corporation have levered in substantial private sector investment in a diverse mix of uses including offices, residential and leisure.

GVA’s Land and Development team in Newcastle advise many of the public sector bodies actively involved with regeneration across the region, including local authorities, government departments and agencies.

In Newcastle, GVA was recently appointed by Science Central LLP, a joint venture between Newcastle City Council and Newcastle University which forms part of the wider Newcastle Science City initiative.

GVA will provide strategic property development, marketing and estate management advice including the development of a disposal strategy for the mixed-use development.

The 24-acre brownfield site will create a new urban quarter in the heart of the city, which will be central to Newcastle’s economic future and will create a world-class hub for science-based businesses.

The development will include a mix of offices, residential, hotel, student accommodation and business space uses, set around high-quality public spaces.

The first building onsite will be owned by Newcastle City Council and construction is currently underway. The building will comprise 38,000 sq ft of space to support innovative, science-led businesses and is due to be open for business in Autumn 2014.

Within the Tees Valley, development and marketing advice is being provided to the Homes and Communities Agency in relation to the Middlehaven regeneration scheme. The project which has attracted over £140m of investment to date including the development of the 4,000 student capacity Middlesbrough Collage and the £6.8m sixth form centre, two new Grade A office buildings which are fully occupied at Manhattan Gate, the first 80 units of residential accommodation in the Community in a Cube (CIAC) as well as innovative business start-up and move-on accommodation in the BoHo quarter.

Despite the economic downturn, development of Middlehaven continues to progress with the development of The Gateway, a £8m neuro rehabilitation centre well underway, and plans to create a high-quality urban park adjacent to serviced self-build plots well advanced.

GVA are also advising Muse Developments in relation to the £300m North Shore development at Stockton, a 60 acre mixed-use development on the north side of Stockton Riverside.

The scheme envisages a mix of offices, leisure and retail accommodation, potential expansion of the nearby Durham University Queen’s Campus alongside new phases of residential development.

GVA are also involved in providing professional property advice on other large regeneration schemes, including East Pilgrim Street, Newcastle, Middlesbrough Council’s Gresham Project and in Ashington, acting on behalf of Arch, the Northumberland Development Company in relation to town centre improvements in Ashington

:: Ray Minto, Land and Development, GVA, Newcastle

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