Press releases

Planning submitted for L&G’s first building at Newcastle Science Central

Legal & General has announced that it has submitted a planning application for the first of its grade A office buildings at Newcastle Science Central.

2 Jun 2017

Designed by international design practice, Ryder Architecture, the 100,000 sq ft office building will create modern workspace for over 1,200 people in the science, technology and the knowledge sectors.

Set to create over 4,000 jobs, 500,000 sq ft of office and research space, and 450 new homes, Newcastle Science Central is one of the biggest urban regeneration projects of its kind in the UK. Comprising a 24 acre science and technology hub on the former Newcastle Brown Ale brewery site, located in Newcastle’s city centre, the aim of the development is to become a major UK hub for scientific research and technology businesses, creating knowledge based jobs for future generations in Newcastle.

In June 2016 Legal & General Capital, the investment arm of Legal & General Group, became the long term investment partner with Newcastle City Council (NCC) and Newcastle University (NU), to build and finance the Newcastle Science Central development.

The office building will be clad in steel and glass, referencing the region’s steel manufacturing and ship building heritage. The earthy copper tones also link to the history of the site and this dramatic addition to the Newcastle skyline promises to set the standard for the future phases of the L&G investment programme. The building is designed to achieve British Council for Office (BCO) standards, with an occupancy ratio of one person per 8sqm net office space. Vehicle access, disabled parking and drop off points will be incorporated into the adjacent public realm. It will also benefit from a generous double height reception space and a café.

Rachel Dickie, Urban Regeneration Investment Manager at Legal & General Capital, commented: “This is an important step forward for this exciting city centre regeneration project, giving further visualisation to the quality and vibrancy of the urban landscape that will be created here at Newcastle Science Central in collaborative partnership with the council and the university. Working with leading architect, Ryder, it was important to us all that the design of this building pays homage to Newcastle’s rich history, while also embracing and supporting its technology savvy future. If planning is successful, we hope to be able to be on site by January 2018.”

Richard Wise, partner at Ryder said: “The application for planning approval for Plot 1 marks a significant milestone in the development of Newcastle Science Central. It is a clear signal of the intent and ambitions of Legal and General and the Science Central LLP. It represents the first significant tranche of private sector investment into what to date has been a predominantly publicly funded development.

“Ryder is delighted to be the lead consultant for the project enjoying a strong relationship with the client team and the wider Newcastle Science Central stakeholders. We look forward to delivering the next stages of the project.”

Newcastle City Council will manage and operate the building when complete.

This first office building is due to be followed by a second, adding a further 100,000 sq ft to the site. The two office buildings, along with The Core – a 27,000 sq ft space for start-ups and SMEs – will form the gateway to Science Central. The area between the three buildings will also be transformed into a public square, improving accessibility to the site and providing a significant amenity for office workers, visitors and the surrounding community.


About Newcastle Science Central 
Originally the Elswick Colliery, then later the production centre for Scottish and Newcastle Brown Ale, Newcastle Science Central is the city’s £350 million flagship project. It is a hub where investors, businesses, entrepreneurs, students, scientists and citizens can collaborate, innovate and develop solutions for tomorrow’s cities; creating a global centre for urban innovation in the heart of the city. The vision for Science Central is to be a new urban quarter in the centre of Newcastle which will be an exemplar of sustainable urban development. It will attract leading edge scientific and technology organisations to a mixed new community encompassing a variety of R&D, educational, business and residential uses. A global centre for urban innovation in the heart of the city, the 24 acre development is a long term, committed partnership between Newcastle City Council and Newcastle University. In June 2016, Legal & General Capital became a long term investment partner in Science Central. For more information visit

Ryder Architecture
Everything architecture - Our goal is simple – to improve the quality of the world around us and, in doing so, improve people’s lives. An approach embedded in the origins of Ryder which remains a touchstone today. Ryder was established in Newcastle in 1953 and now also has teams in London, Glasgow, Liverpool, Hong Kong and, through Ryder Alliance, in Australia, Budapest and Spain. Projects range in value from £50,000 to £300m in the civic, education, healthcare, infrastructure, leisure, manufacturing, office, residential, retail and science sectors.

Further information

Notes to editors

Legal & General Capital (LGC) is Legal & General Group’s alternative asset platform, creating assets for Legal & General Retirement and third-party clients in order to achieve improved risk-adjusted returns for our shareholders. LGC has built its capabilities in a range of alternative sectors, including in residential property; specialist commercial real estate; clean energy; alternative credit; and venture capital, which are all supported by long-term structural growth drivers, meet a financing gap, and respond to a scarcity of supply that is underpinned by enduring societal needs.