The project team held a steel beam-signing ceremony at Pilgrim Quarter. Credit: Place North East

HMRC Newcastle office rises out of ground

Construction of HMRC’s new base in Newcastle’s Pilgrim’s Quarter is progressing at pace 18 months after the deal was completed to relocate 9,000 tax workers from Longbenton and Washington.

The Newcastle building will be the largest of HMRC’s 14 regional centres, at 463,000 sq ft. Construction work started in June 2022. At the end of 2021, the Pilgrim Street development was chosen as the new home of HMRC in the North East as part of the Government Hub network.

The project team held a steel beam-signing ceremony to mark one year since breaking ground. The developer is Reuben Brothers with asset manager Motcomb Estates; Bowmer + Kirkland is the contractor; the architect is Ryder; and the project manager and planner is Avison Young. Engineering is by Cundall.

HMRC’s new North East HQ will take a prominent corner position. Credit: Avison Young

Chris Turnbull, principal at Avison Young, said: “Considerable progress is now self-evident on site with steelwork erection proceeding at pace, following upon extensive demolition and site development works.

“Bowmer + Kirkland has maintained the build programme while dealing with the diversion of a major sewer, extensive façade retention works on the listed Carliol House as well as piling works, adjacent to the Metro line tunnels.”

The building is scheduled to be handed over to HMRC for fit works in Q4 2025 and occupation will take place in 2027.

Ryder Architecture designed the large office building. Credit: Avison Young

Marc Gill, HMRC’s senior sponsor for the North East, commented: “HMRC is extremely proud of its history in the North East and we look forward to enabling HMRC to continue to provide thousands of high-quality rewarding Government careers in an iconic location in the heart of Newcastle City Centre.”

Cllr Alex Hay, Newcastle City Council cabinet member for a thriving city, said: “The Pilgrim’s Quarter is a hugely important strategic development for our city and it is exciting to see the rate of progress that is being made.”

Roger Thornton, head of property at Motcomb Estates, says on behalf of Reuben Brothers (Newcastle): “The scale of the project is now apparent to all on site as steelwork is progressed on the northern and eastern sections of the site, which will in turn link into the retained Carliol House elevations along Market Street.”

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This project bringing 9,000 staff to the heart of Newcastle city centre will be a massive boost to the local economy and the vitality and viability of the city’s retail core.

By Ian Parker

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