Newcastle University wants to use its strong track record of research into ageing. Credit: GSSArchitecture

£500m health innovation district for Newcastle Uni clears planning

Nearly 1m sq ft of research and commercial space and more than 1,000 homes are ready to be delivered after planning consent was given to Newcastle University and Genr8 Kajima’s ambitious project.

The proposal includes:

  • 350,000 sq ft of research and innovation facilities
  • 350,000 sq ft of business, employment and education space
  • 100,000 sq ft of NHS and health-related facilities
  • 1,250 new homes, up to 15% of which will be affordable.

There will be a mix of tenures offered in the residential element: co-living, market rent, later and supported living and specialist housing.

The development area is a former 29-acre general hospital site off Westgate Road. The masterplan by GSSArchitecture and Pegasus Group includes public realm and infrastructure to “support housing solutions that promote longer, healthier lives.”

Prof Chris Day, vice-chancellor and president of Newcastle University, said: “Our planned Health Innovation Neighbourhood builds on our world-leading expertise in healthy ageing and will be the first of its kind in the UK, tackling major health and social challenges with the aim of identifying solutions that will benefit people here in the North East and beyond.”

The Health Innovation Neighbourhood is a joint venture partnership between Newcastle University and Genr8 Kajima Regeneration Ltd (GKRL), who together formed Newcastle Genr8 Kajima (NGK) in March 2022. Newcastle University will leverage its previous successes including the Helix and the National Innovation Centre for Ageing, alongside the regeneration expertise of GKRL to deliver a world-leading example of intergenerational living, co-locating education, health and a spectrum of residential developments and workspace.

Richard Ingham, director, Genr8 Kajima Regeneration, said: “The Health Innovation Neighbourhood scheme has an ambitious vision to create a global exemplar for innovation in sustainable living and the longevity economy. We aim to develop a neighbourhood where housing, the environment, infrastructure, research, and education will drive and inform healthy living across all life stages. We are proud to be a part of a project that will ultimately help people live longer and healthier lives.”

Gillespies is also heavily involved, assisting GSS Architecture in developing the masterplan proposals. This included producing a comprehensive design code that champions the importance of community space for health, wellbeing, amenity, and nature recovery.

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As a business within the National Innovation Centre for Ageing’s Internet of Caring Things Cluster, Myfolks cannot wait to see how this develops. We will do anything we can to help.
The area around the former Newcastle General is where the Founder grew up, so this is special to us in some many ways.

By Louise @ Myfolks

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