New name revealed for £137million historic Newcastle city centre scheme

A partnership of igloo Regeneration with Thriving Investments (part of the Places for People group) and Newcastle City Council has unveiled the name of its £137million key regeneration scheme in the heart of Newcastle upon Tyne.

In a nod to its rich industrial past, the four-hectare scheme located in the Stephenson Quarter has been named Founders Place. It combines a host of exceptional, mixed-use spaces that are individually and collectively steeped in 200 years of industrial heritage.

Positioned to the south of and adjacent to the city’s central railway station, Founders Place was originally the location of the workshops and site offices of Robert Stephenson & Company; the first company in the world to specifically design and build locomotive steam engines. Founders Place has been named to honour the engineering pioneers whose work put Newcastle firmly on the world’s industrial map. Some 200 years later, this crucible of innovation and industry now offers new and carefully restored workspaces for the next generation of forward-looking businesses.

Pre-let partners are being sought for The Pioneer which will be sustainable landmark offices forming a gateway to Founders Place. This striking new development will offer 100,000 sq. ft of planet-positive space over 10 storeys with outdoor terraces and panoramic views across the city. Designed by RIBA Stirling Prize-winning architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, The Pioneer will be technologically advanced, accessible and has been designed as BREEAM ‘Excellent’.

The Grade II Listed Pattern Shop has been carefully restored and is due for completion this spring. The new £8.7m office scheme has its own remarkable industrial legacy and, although the building contains new facilities, its character remains intact thanks to some of its original windows and floorboards being preserved as visible features from the past.

Future phases across Founders Place include Orchard Yard, the Railyards and Coppersmith Shop – combining to offer a mixed-use opportunity for residential, creative workshop hubs, a destination restaurant and retail businesses.

Founders Place will be a hub for employment with a total of 160,000 sq. ft of high-quality, planet-positive new-build office space, including 60,000 sq. ft of heritage buildings that have been reinvented for modern work, leisure, culture and living. A new community of circa 80 zero-carbon homes will emerge, designed with urban living in mind amongst gardens, pathways and spaces to help residents reconnect with nature and each other.

Insiyah Khushnood from igloo said: “Founders Place is one of the most inspirational settings imaginable and we’re looking forward to hearing responses to our shared vision from the market. The creative, pioneering founders from the area’s past and the heritage legacy of their work is an incredible starting point for any new scheme, and we felt it was important to retain the heart and soul that makes the area so special for today’s founders. This is a place designed for the future, where people will want to work, live and enjoy life for many years to come.

“It’s the strongest signal yet that Newcastle is proudly and successfully combining its rich heritage with cutting-edge work spaces designed for a talented and dynamic workforce. Anyone who has the privilege to work here will know they are part of something special that’s connected to entrepreneurs of the past but with eyes firmly fixed on the future.”

Founders Place has been developed with equal attention to people, place and planet, setting ambitious goals for operational and embodied carbon reduction, waste reduction and the circular economy that supports nature and increasing biodiversity through habitat creation.

The quality of Founders Place is also revealed through its architecture and public realm, designed to withstand the test of time whilst creating spaces and places that people can enjoy. Destined to be a thriving urban community, Founders Place will offer healthy, comfortable, flexible buildings enhanced by plans for active travel, walking, cycling, clean air and greenery; all contributing to the increased wellbeing of its occupiers and visitors alike.

Agents Knight Frank have been appointed to secure pre-let partners across Founders Place. Partner Patrick Matheson, said: “Occupiers are focusing their property requirements on highly sustainable, inspiring work spaces. As more staff return to shared offices, either full-time or in hybrid roles, we know employers want to offer superior spaces that will enhance their employees’ working experience and well-being.

He added: “The collection of buildings that make up Founders Place have an enviable heritage and character that is evident across the whole development. It offers superb work options in the very heart of Newcastle city centre with the strongest of eco-credentials.”

Founders Place is ideally placed in an already sought-after district that includes Central Square, with neighbouring hospitality businesses such as the Crowne Plaza Hotel and Spa, Gin Bar, The Boiler Shop music and events venue, 5 Quarter Café & Bar and The Arches Beer Street Micropub and Bottle Shop.