Work resumes on Newcastle’s Pattern Shop
Replacing Tolent as main contractor, Robertson Construction has kickstarted work on the £8.7m redevelopment of the grade two-listed Stephenson Quarter building into event and workspace.
Work stalled on the Forth Street site earlier this year after the collapse of Tolent, but has now resumed, with a scheduled completion of early 2024.
Joinery, mechanical and electrical works are now well under way and groundworks including drainage and building services installation will restart imminently, paving the way for surfacing works scheduled for later this year.
The remaining external curtain walling sections will then be installed enabling the final finishes and commissioning before the Pattern Shop welcomes its first occupants in the new year.
Close to Newcastle station and enjoying southern views of the Tyne Bridge, the Pattern Shop rose to prominence as the location where Robert Stephenson built steam locomotives.
Following the extensive remodelling and renovation of the 30,000 sq ft site, the hub 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.
Situated in the heart of Stephenson Quarter, the scheme marks the start of the next phase of development by Stephenson Works, a joint venture between PfP igloo (PfP Capital and igloo Regeneration) and Newcastle City Council.
The local authority owns and will retain the building.
Garry Hope, managing director, Robertson Construction North East, said: “The Pattern Shop will once again become a pivotal part of Newcastle’s history. Buildings like these have incredible stories to tell and we will be honouring the well-known history and legacy of the building as we continue the works to create a modern working environment.
“Where possible we are working with the previous supply chain and works are progressing well with a targeted completion of 2024. Upon completion, The Pattern Shop will provide a space for new innovators in an environment which prioritises sustainability, comfort and wellbeing, with beautiful views of Tyne Bridge.”
Earlier this year, the development JV launched The Pioneer, a 100,000 sq ft office scheme, where it hopes to secure a pre-let to enable construction to begin. Until then, all eyes are on the Pattern Shop.
Pippa Heron, development manager at igloo, said: “We are delighted to see Robertson hit the ground running and continue the transformation of this forgotten site into a truly iconic building for the city.
“There are already clear signs that we are back on track, with the eye-catching mezzanine floor, for example, already visible. 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.”
In sustainability terms, the Pattern Shop will be BREEAM Very Good, with an EPC B rating.
Knight Frank is retained agent for the Pattern Shop. 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.”
Cllr Alex Hay, Newcastle City Council cabinet member for a thriving city, said: “It’s brilliant to see works back in progress at the Pattern Shop and I’m excited for this key strategic development to get back on track.
“This is a significant element of the transformation of the Stephenson Quarter, and will present a host of new opportunities for people at the same time as breathing new life into the rich history of an important part of the centre of Newcastle.”