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Work set to begin on pioneering Health Innovation Neighbourhood

May 21, 2024

Three people wearing high visibility gear and pushing shovels into the soil
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A groundbreaking ceremony has marked the start of work on the £500 million Health Innovation Neighbourhood, which will promote longer, healthier lives.

Leading figures from Newcastle University, the North East Combined Authority, Newcastle City Council and Genr8 Kajima Regeneration Ltd, took part in the event to highlight their strong support and commitment to the ambitious project.

Led by Newcastle University, the overall vision is for the scheme to be an exemplar in promoting new ways of living that lengthen people’s health span as well as life span.

Professor Jane Robinson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Engagement and Place at Newcastle University, said: “This is a major milestone for the development of our Health Innovation Neighbourhood (HIN).

“This site builds on Newcastle University’s world-leading expertise in healthy ageing and will be the first of its kind in the UK, tackling major health and social challenges with the aim of identifying solutions that will benefit people here in the North East and worldwide.

“Improving healthy life expectancy is vital to creating a more inclusive economy and we are delighted to have the support of regional leaders in achieving this ambition.”


World-class research and innovation

Newcastle University, with development partners Genr8 Kajima Regeneration Ltd, will transform the former 29-acre General Hospital site in Newcastle’s West End, building on world-class research and innovation focused on ageing and living well.

The development will cement the region’s status in leading ageing research, with the construction of new academic hubs, NHS and other health-related facilities, residential, business, community, and leisure spaces.

Last month, planning consent was granted by Newcastle City Council for HIN’s detailed masterplan and demolition work will soon begin on the site following recently awarded funding through the North East’s trailblazer devolution deal.

The project will include 350,000 sq ft of research and innovation facilities, a further 350,000 sq ft of business, employment and education space, 100,000 sq ft of NHS and other health-related facilities, and 1,250 new homes, up to 15% of which will be affordable.

The mixed tenure residential space will comprise inter-generational living, later living and supported living homes. It will also include specialist housing for those living with dementia, drawing on best practice across the globe.


Kim McGuinness, North East Mayor, said: “More green affordable homes.  That’s what will bring back to life the Newcastle General Hospital site that so many people will recognise.

“I’m delighted to support this world-class centre, developing cutting edge research and housing to help people live and age better.

“Everyone in our great North East should have access to a good home.  I’m committed to making sure they do and to creating green jobs and opportunity as we build.”


HIN aims to combine health, research, and community amenities, and support local economic and infrastructure development.

Planned developments include a hub which would support local community needs through digitally enhanced services, including community-accessible facilities, a café, digital learning spaces, and areas for innovation, research, training, and office use. It would be designed to establish a new southern entry point and frontage on Newcastle’s Westgate Road.

The approved redevelopment plan also includes two sustainable transport hubs to support the site’s new uses, and new public areas and spaces allocated for retail and leisure. Additionally, the masterplan incorporates green corridors and envisions a series of development plots centred around a large open space, enhancing connectivity with new east-west links across the site.


Councillor Nick Kemp, Leader of Newcastle City Council, said: “This marks the start of an exciting major development for our city which brings new life to an important site while delivering world-class research and healthcare facilities, housing, green spaces and leisure opportunities. This is just one of a number of development sites that can help transform our city and the lives of our residents.

“I’m really pleased to see work begin on the Health Innovation Neighbourhood and look forward to seeing it deliver the jobs, opportunities and growth that we all want to see in Newcastle as part of our commitment to achieving an inclusive economy that works for all our residents.”


‘Unique and important development’

Dame Norma Redfearn, Interim Portfolio Holder for Housing and Land at the North East Combined Authority, added: “I am pleased to see this unique and important development get off the ground which is an early example of the wonderful difference the work of the North East Combined Authority and our partners will have on the lives of our residents.

“It is important that all residents can live healthy, fulfilling lives, in neighbourhoods and communities that help them thrive. Safe, secure housing makes a critical difference to resident’s lives, and providing affordable, healthy and vibrant houses and neighbourhoods is a priority for everyone involved in the combined authority.

“The Health Innovation Neighbourhood will offer these opportunities and I am looking forward to it developing further.”


The Genr8 Kajima Regeneration Ltd partnership is a 50/50 Joint Venture between Kajima, the pan-European real estate developer and investor and leading regeneration developer, Genr8 Developments. The partnership will create a place that positively contributes to the local community while supporting the research and innovation ambitions of the site.

Richard Ingham, Director of Genr8 Kajima Regeneration Ltd, said: The Health Innovation Neighbourhood will be a genuinely transformational project for Newcastle, creating a dynamic and multi-generational environment that enables people to live longer, healthier lives.

“The commencement of the demolition works is a significant step on the journey and following on from the recently granted outline planning permission, reinforces the momentum which the project now has.”


If you would like to learn more about the ambitious plans for the Health Innovation Neighbourhood, you can meet the partners from Newcastle University and Genr8 Kajima Regeneration Ltd on Wednesday 22nd May 09:00-10:00 at UKREiiF in Leeds.

Register to attend here:

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