Skip to content

Full steam ahead on The Pattern Shop

January 5, 2023

People sitting in modern office space at The Pattern Shop
Share via:

Built around 1880, The Pattern Shop was originally used by the world-famous locomotive designer Robert Stephenson, one of the greatest engineers of the Victorian era. Now reinvented for today’s innovators, this striking Grade II Listed building with its remarkable 200-year legacy, will be the ideal base for businesses looking to make their mark on the city’s vibrant creative and digital sector.

With spectacular southern views of the Tyne Bridge, The Pattern Shop is situated directly adjacent to Central Station and other major transport links. The scheme will combine industry-leading telecommunications connectivity alongside cutting-edge sustainable technology, as well as low carbon, low energy infrastructure throughout the three-storey building.

Following the extensive remodelling and renovation of the circa 3,000 sq m site, the hub will provide a large-scale exhibition and creative space for the city, as well as offering flexible SME workspace, or a single let, for up to 300 people.

Situated in the heart of Stephenson Quarter, the scheme marks the start of the next phase of development on this historic city centre site by Newcastle City Council and development manager igloo Regeneration. Newcastle City Council owns and will retain the building.  Further plans for the wider site will be unveiled in early 2023.

Pippa Heron, igloo Regeneration, said: “It is very fitting that the newly emerging Pattern Shop is coming full circle and returning as a fully transformed, truly iconic building for the city. The eye-catching glulam mezzanine floor is taking shape now and will be a signature feature of the scheme. The internal design work has also incorporated many unique industrial features that have been skilfully retained from the original workshop.”

“We are delighted to be reaching these significant and visible milestones for The Pattern Shop and we’re now looking forward to 2023 where we will see this building play a major role in the wider renaissance of this important site in the city centre.”


Photograph of the exterior of The Pattern Shop building

(c) StephensonWorksLLP

After decades of neglect, the dilapidated workshop had to undergo extensive remedial works before it could start to visibly take shape as part of Newcastle’s creative and digital future.

As part of its impressive sustainability credentials, The Pattern Shop will be BREEAM “Very Good”, with an EPC “B” rating. Its close proximity to the train station as well as cycle storage and showering facilities are also designed to encourage sustainable commuting by its new occupants.

Cabinet Member for a Resilient City, Cllr Alex Hay, said: “The Pattern Shop was where steam engines were once made and shipped all over the world putting it at the heart of the Industrial Revolution. It’s very fitting that after years of underuse and neglect once again it will be at the heart of the digital revolution as the home of creative and hi-tech small and medium sized enterprises.

“Its location, overlooking the Tyne and so close to the railway station, will make it the perfect place to be in business. It will not only regenerate the area physically but also socially as it attracts investment and creates the jobs of the future.”

Patrick Matheson, Partner from Knight Frank, agents for The Pattern Shop, said: “The vast majority of occupiers are now focusing their property requirements on highly sustainable, inspiring office spaces. We are seeing occupiers using their offices as a strategic business tool to significantly enhance their staff’s experience, collaboration and wellbeing.

“As we move into 2023, we expect this trend to continue and The Pattern Shop, with its incredible history, character and very strong environmental credentials, is well placed to deliver businesses with a superb workspace in the very heart of Newcastle city centre.”


People sitting on chair in the Hall of The Pattern Shop

(c) StephensonWorksLLP

Office workspace already thriving in the district include Central Square, with its neighbouring hospitality businesses, including 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.

The Pattern Shop was first brought to prominence when industrial pioneer Robert Stephenson built steam locomotives in the 1800s for export around the world. This heralded the birth of the railway era and put Newcastle firmly on the global map.

The city will be celebrating the 200th anniversary of Robert Stephenson and Company being established. A special exhibition has been curated by the Robert Stephenson Trust and supported by Newcastle City Council and will be on show at the Common Room from January 2023, making the opening of the redeveloped Pattern Shop later in the year, a fitting and timely tribute.

Founded in 1823, Robert Stephenson and Company, was the first company in the world created specifically to build railway engines. Following the success of Stephenson’s inventions, The Pattern Shop needed to be extended and, ground-breaking at the time, was re-engineered by removing the roof, inserting a first floor, before re-topping of the building.

Eventually, more than 3,000 locomotive engines were shipped all over the world as far afield as America and Egypt putting Newcastle on the international map.

Stephenson eventually moved out of The Pattern Shop and it went on to become a builder’s yard before going into decline and eventually being abandoned in the 1960s.

Latest articles

Stay up-to-date with latest news, events and more within a great city that never stands still.

Your Business. Your City. Your Future.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe to Invest Newcastle for updates, news, events and business opportunities.