Press releases

Legal & General completes largest privately funded office in Newcastle

Legal & General announces the completion of The Lumen Building on Newcastle Helix, the largest private-sector funded office building to be built in Newcastle’s city centre in the last decade.

18 May 2020

Full press release

The Lumen building, a 106,000 sq. ft. Grade A office, is part of £65m of forward funding from Legal & General and has been brought forward in partnership with Newcastle University and Newcastle City Council. Its state-of-the-art facilities will provide a hub for science and technology businesses to grow and prosper, helping to boost local economic output.

Designed by renowned architecture firm Ryder Architecture, The Lumen has the potential to create over 1,000 local jobs and offers opportunities for collaboration with established scientific research, technology and education companies across the 24-acre sustainable urban development. With co-working space to connect start-up businesses to talent coming out the city’s world-leading universities, The Lumen will help boost the local area as a UK hub for science and technology.

A celebratory event to mark its completion was due take place in March but was postponed due to the global pandemic. Instead, this week (May 18-22) Newcastle Helix will celebrate the practical completion of this landmark building and the role it will play in the city’s future. There will be new photos released of the building and messages of support from city’s leaders. In the coming weeks new video footage will also be released, allowing potential occupiers to benefit from a virtual viewing.

The Lumen is part of Legal & General’s investment on Newcastle Helix, with work on a second landmark office space ‘The Spark’ already under way.

Newcastle Helix is a unique partnership between Newcastle City Council, Legal & General and Newcastle University. It is a 24-acre development that brings together industry leaders, businesses, and top researchers into an international renowned innovation cluster. It is an exemplar sustainable urban development which combines prestigious commercial and residential space with first class research and education facilities.

The Lumen is designed to BREEAM Excellent standard and has an EPC rating of A. Sir Robert McAlpine were the principal contractor for the build and Creative Space Management have been appointed to manage the building. Avison Young and Cushman & Wakefield are joint agents.

Gordon Aitchison: "The completion of the Lumen is the accumulation of years of hard work between L&G, Newcastle University and Newcastle City Council, each working towards a common goal of driving economic growth and innovation in the North East. The site is an ideal base for businesses looking to innovate and collaborate, boosting the area as a science and technology hub and offering networking opportunities with the university and across the Helix innovation park. As we have seen over the last few months, businesses in this sector have been crucial to the effort to overcome the pandemic, and in the wake of the lockdown these sectors will inevitably expand exponentially."
Jennie Hill: "Newcastle is one of the fastest growing cities in the UK, benefiting from some of the country’s best data connectivity and easy access to a talented pool of graduates from leading universities.

The Lumen is an iconic site and one that provides incubator, accelerator and collaboration space for companies that want to establish a base in the North. As part of our Future Cities business, Legal & General is using its varied capital streams, from start-up funding to long term UK pension money, to reshape the urban landscape, providing the significant investment needed to help cities adapt, change and innovate. Newcastle Helix is a perfect example of bringing together a forward thinking partnership to help deliver innovative regeneration and drive regional economic growth. L&G is proud to have been part of this fantastic development and looks forward to seeing the first tenants move in as the lockdown eases."

Councillor Ged Bell: "The completion of the Lumen marks a significant milestone in Newcastle Helix’s story. In challenging times, this building will play a crucial role in the future of our economy. It has already created a number of jobs across the whole supply chain and has the potential to create more than 1,000 jobs once open.

Newcastle Helix is helping to build our economy around healthy ageing, tech, sustainability and data, supporting our city with its post-covid economic recovery. It is really promising that we have already had significant interest from potential new occupiers. A huge thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to deliver this project and I look forward to welcoming new businesses in person when I can."

Professor Chris Day: "Newcastle University is immensely proud of what our partnership with Newcastle City Council and Legal and General has achieved here on Newcastle Helix, and I would like to congratulate them both as The Lumen opens for business.

Although it seems like a long time ago now, it is only a few short weeks since the City and L&G joined me to celebrate the completion of The Lumen’s neighbour, The Catalyst, which is now home to the University’s two UK National Innovation Centres in Ageing and Data and the National Institute for Health Research Innovation Observatory.

These are developments that are not only transforming this part of the city but that also have the potential to transform the future. The importance of this partnership and the work we do together will never be more important than it is now, as we enter the social and economic recovery phase of Covid-19 and seek new and innovative ways to ensure the future prosperity of our city and region."

For more information about the building visit
Twitter: @LumenNewcastle

Image credit: Graeme Peacock Photography

Notes to editors

Established in 1836, Legal & General is one of the UK's leading financial services groups and a major global investor, with £1.2 trillion in total assets under management1 of which 40% is international. We have a unique and highly synergistic business model, which continues to drive strong returns. Legal & General provides powerful asset origination and management capabilities directly to clients, which also underpin our leading retirement and protection solutions. We are a leading international player in Pension Risk Transfer, in UK and US life insurance, and in UK workplace pensions and retirement income. Our purpose is to improve the lives of our customers and create value for our shareholders. Through inclusive capitalism, we are investing in long-term assets, such as real estate and infrastructure, that can help build a better society for the future.

1Data as at 31 December 2023.