A derelict building on Tyneside, once at the heart of the industrial revolution, is set for a new lease of life – and will play a part in creating many new jobs for the community.
The Pattern Shop, behind Newcastle Central Station, was once a base for industrial pioneer Robert Stephenson where he built steam locomotives in the 1800s for export across the globe. Founded in 1823, Robert Stephenson and Company was the first company in the world that was created specifically to build railway engines.
After Stephenson moved out of the Pattern Shop, the Grade II Listed building became a builder’s yard before eventually being abandoned in the ‘60s.
But now, PfP igloo and Newcastle City Council – which owns the building – have been given permission to transform the two-storey workshop into an eco-friendly commercial centre, housing small- and medium-sized businesses in the creative and digital sectors.
What's the plan?
It's hoped that up to 300 people will eventually be based in the low carbon, low energy building which will offer more than 3,000 square metres of flexible workspace with views across the River Tyne.
Financial support for the project
The £8.7m refurbishment will be funded by PfP igloo and Newcastle City Council, with extra support of a £0.8m Local Growth Fund grant from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and a £1.4m grant from the Government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS).
The LEP grant will fund the repair of the structure and roof of the building, with the PSDS grant funding various energy saving measures that will reduce its carbon footprint.
Gateshead-based contractor Tolent was awarded the £1.1m contract to complete the first phase of restoration works to the building, and specialist teams are carrying out a series of works to bring it back into use. These include a deep clean, shot blasting steelwork, asbestos removal and repair works to the roof and replacement of the existing timber floors.
This will be followed by a complete the conversion of the building to modern offices, whilst retaining the buildings heritage features and unique history.
The 4.3-acre brownfield plot is the first to be developed in Stephenson Works LLP and the project is set to be completed this coming summer.