The Engine Hall will be the centrepiece. Credit: Renderloft for NCC

Newcastle’s Pattern Shop back on track

Robertson Construction, which took over the job from Tolent, said that the finish line is in sight for external works at the £8.7m workspace-led heritage redevelopment.

Work on the scheme stalled earlier this year after the collapse of Tolent. However, work resumed on the Forth Street site this autumn with the scheme now on track to complete in early 2024.

Following the extensive remodelling and renovation of the 30,000 sq ft site, the Pattern Shop will provide a large-scale exhibition and creative space for the city, as well as offering flexible SME workspace, or a single let, for up to 300 people.

Garry Hope, managing director, Robertson Construction North East, said: “The Pattern Shop played a pivotal role in the history of the North East, and will once again host innovators and creatives, sparking change and supporting the drive of local and regional economic growth.

“Next stop – early 2024, when this iconic building will be full steam ahead and back in business.”

Joinery, mechanical and electrical works are in the final stages and groundworks including drainage and building services installation have paved the way for surfacing works to complete in the next few weeks.

The remaining external curtain walling sections are being installed with the internal fit out set to take place early next year, ready for its first occupants once tenancies are agreed.

Although the building will contain new facilities, its character will remain intact thanks to some of the building’s original windows and floorboards being preserved as visible nods to the building’s heritage. Preserving key features of the structure has also ensured that 98% of waste has been diverted from landfill.

The Pattern Shop scheme marks the fruition of the first phase of development delivered through the partnership of igloo Regeneration with Thriving Investments (part of the Places for People group) and Newcastle City Council.

As The Pattern Shop reaches its final construction stages, igloo said that it is also confident that 2024 will herald the start of its neighbouring scheme The Pioneer, a grade A 100,000 sq ft office development launched in March and designed by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris.

Agent Knight Frank, which is instructed on The Pattern Shop, has also been tasked with securing a pre-let partner for The Pioneer which is located on the site of George and Robert Stephenson’s first purpose-built locomotive factory.

Pippa Heron, development manager at igloo, said: “We are delighted to see the progress that has been made by Robertson on The Pattern Shop and how it’s transforming a forgotten site into a truly iconic building for the city. We are now back on track, with many eye-catching features such as the mezzanine structure complete. This will be a signature feature of the scheme and signals our intent to make The Pattern Shop a key anchor in the continued renaissance of this district.

“Visible progress of The Pattern Shop is also boosting overall confidence in the wider development and once complete, all eyes will turn to The Pioneer, another exemplary scheme ready to make its mark on the city.”

Knight Frank partner Patrick Matheson said: “The vast majority of occupiers are now focusing their property requirements on highly sustainable, inspiring office spaces. We are seeing occupiers using their offices as a strategic business tool to significantly enhance their staff’s experience, collaboration and wellbeing.

“As we move towards 2024, we expect this trend to continue and The Pattern Shop, with its incredible history, character and very strong environmental credentials, will be well placed to deliver a superb workspace in the very heart of Newcastle city centre. We hope its success will then ignite further interest in The Pioneer and this thriving heritage business quarter.”

Already in the district are the likes of office building Central Square, the Crowne Plaza, The Boiler Shop music and events venue, 5 Quarter Café & Bar and the Beer Street micropub and bottle shop.

Newcastle City Council cabinet member for a thriving city, Cllr Alex Hay, said: “This area of the city, adjacent to Newcastle Central Station is a strategically important regeneration site that is central to the council’s plans to create employment opportunities for the residents of Newcastle.

“That’s why I am delighted that this building is nearing completion as it will be home to small and medium sized businesses creating in the region of 200 jobs.

“The Pattern Shop played a key role in the industrial revolution in the same way it will play a key role in the next revolution with clean, green, companies creating good quality jobs of the future.”

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