Posted on 4th August, 2017

The changing face of a once industrial city

North East Construction, the Changing Face of a Once Industrial City.

Posted by Kevin Wright, Senior Construction Recruitment Consultant. 

The history of Newcastle-upon-Tyne is one of coal mines, ship building and heavy industry. It has experienced social and economic challenges, resulting in heavy unemployment, business and Industry closures and tradesmen traveling far and wide in search of work. However it’s safe to say the City and its construction industry, is once again on the up with new developments popping up throughout the region; almost every week.

A controversial and hot topic amongst local residents is the abundance of student accommodation currently dominating the market. The city skyline is now a mixture of the iconic traditional sandstone and new age multicoloured cladding. The developments have made way for some innovative designs, making use of iconic historic buildings and structures which have previously been left derelict and in disrepair. For example; John Dobson House, located on New Bridge Street is a grade II listed building, formerly Liquid & Envy Nightclub, which is set to complete within the coming weeks, making way for a 329 bedroom student acc, with leisure facilities.

Within walking distance from John Dobson House, you’ll find the newest re-generation project the development of Newcastle’s former Police station. The project is now under way with Watkin Jones, set to build for an expected 225 students.

With the current influx of student living, what expansion plans are in store for the Universities educating the new tenants? Over the West End of Newcastle an exciting development is in full swing, on the old Scottish and Newcastle Brewery site you can see the rise of Newcastle Science Centre. This enormous project is making way for groundbreaking science developments, attracting leading scientific and technological organisations. Spanning 24 acres of mixed-use prime city-centre development land, it is the largest development of its kind in the UK, attracting some of the UK’S biggest contractors including McAlpines, Bowmer Kirkland and Kier to name but a few.

From Science to Media and Design. Hoults Yard, overlooking the historic Ouseburn, once one of the most famous pottery factories in the world. It is now home to over 100 businesses ranging for creative, digital, industrial and corporate.

The regeneration of the Ouseburn has been underway for a number of years and has made the small district an up and coming hub for not only for businesses throughout the UK but also for the local community within. The development of the historic Hoults yard was one completed by Sunderland based; Brims Construction, winning a number of local prestigious awards. Personally one of my favourite regeneration projects in the region.

With all of the exciting projects currently underway and upcoming, it’s hard to imagine what’s next for this dramatic, iconic and ever changing city?

As more businesses, students and professionals move to the region making use of our diverse infrastructure and Geordie Hospitality, as well as contributing to the City’s growth. I can only see and hope for further expansion, increased development and more opportunities for our skilled construction workers. In the words of Auf Wiedersehen pet “That’s living alright!”

If you want to be involved with the next phases or require a skilled and knowledgeable workforce to carry jobs out. Contact Kevin Wright at Central Employment to discuss how we can support your needs.

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