Newcastle's Stephenson Quarter reaches new milestone
Cllr Nick Forbes along with leading city officers and directors of InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) visited the site as the developer Clouston Group** confirmed the main contractor Miller Construction has now completed 50per cent of the first phase.
Stephenson Quarter is a £200m mixed use development, with phase one comprising ‘The Rocket’ office building, a seven storey Crowne Plaza hotel, along with a multi-storey car park.
With structural steelwork due to start on the office building later in April; and with columns and concrete floors of the hotel rising rapidly, both buildings are on schedule to open July 2015.
Large 60-metre high tower cranes on the Newcastle skyline reflect the major progress being made at Stephenson Quarter.
The leader of Newcastle City Council, Cllr Nick Forbes said: “It is great to see the cranes on the skyline of Newcastle. This gives a clear signal of progress and confidence to invest here. The council has worked hard to mobilise this public private partnership and unlock this development to create much needed investment and jobs in the city. This is a great example of what we can achieve by working closely with our business partners to ensure Newcastle continues to be a working city.”
Crowne Plaza Newcastle is set to become the city’s most luxurious and contemporary hotel. The 251-bed hotel, featuring a spectacular conference suite and eight adaptable meeting rooms, is already gaining interest and being considered for bookings prior to the arrival of the Rugby World Cup to the city in the autumn of 2015.
Looking at the progress of the flagship hotel project, Peter Brennan, IHG vice president operations in the UK, said: “We are delighted with the progress of Crowne Plaza Newcastle – Stephenson Quarter development, which will in time be the focal point of one of Newcastle’s most exciting development opportunities. The prestigious hotel places the Crowne Plaza brand at the heart of a strategic regeneration scheme situated at the heart of a vibrant, cosmopolitan community in Newcastle.
“With 83 Crowne Plaza hotels in Europe and a further 12* hotels in the pipeline, this development is a shining beacon of the brand’s momentum and bright future.”
David Clouston, chairman and managing director, Clouston Group, said: “As one of the largest regeneration projects the city has seen for several years, we are delighted to have reached this latest milestone. Importantly, we are also pleased to see the growing interest in the office space among business investors.”
Michelle Percy, managing director of Stephenson Hotel Ltd, said: “Crowne Plaza Newcastle will open in July 2015 with a highly trained workforce focussed on delivering the exceptional standards in Newcastle we require. Bookings are already being taken for the BUPA Great North Run and the Rugby World Cup in 2015. We are very excited about making our mark with this hotel which sits at the gateway of the Stephenson Quarter.”
Ian Jubb, regional managing director at Miller Construction, said: “We’re delighted with the way things are going. The next big milestone will be the completion of the main concrete structural frame of the hotel building. This will be progressively coming out of the ground over the coming months.”
The other key building that forms an important part of the first phase of this regeneration project is ‘The Rocket’, a multi-use building, providing 35,000 sq ft of grade A offices and 357 parking spaces.
Stephenson Quarter is a good example of the public and private sectors working together and represents a successful professional and funding partnership between the developer Clouston Group, Aviva Investors, Newcastle City Council, Royal Bank of Scotland, Miller Construction, and the North East Local Enterprise Partnership.
*As at 2014 full year results from IHG
**Clouston Group – the property developer behind Stephenson Quarter - is the new name for Silverlink Property Holdings.