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Newcastle sees record levels of interest in North East investment opportunities at UKREiiF

4th June, 2024

Group shot of Newcastle delegates on the Newcastle stand at UKREiIF
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Economic development efforts have received a major boost after record numbers of people attended programme events led by Invest Newcastle at the UK Real Estate Investment and Infrastructure Forum (UKREiiF) in Leeds.  

More than 500 people visited the Invest Newcastle pavilion over the three-day event, taking the opportunity to learn more about key investment sites and network with a delegation of 27 public and private sector organisations from the North East.  

Attending alongside newly elected North East Mayor Kim McGuinness and Newcastle City Council Leader Cllr Nick Kemp, Invest Newcastle joined forces with Gateshead Council, Durham County Council, Sunderland City Council and the North East Combined Authority to put forward a regional investment proposition to the UK real estate market.  

These included Forth Yards in Newcastle, a 51-acre undeveloped brownfield site on the western edge of the city centre, Metrowood in Gateshead, an ambitious plan to develop a sustainable urban community on 500 acres of land around the Metrocentre, Durham Innovation District and Riverside Sunderland. 

Around 20 networking events, panel discussions and presentations were held over the course of the conference on a range of topics including, embedding social value in placemaking, the future of retail environments, increasing space utilisation across estates, achieving net zero through district energy centres, advancing construction through industry 4.0 and building an international city to attract visitors and investment from around the world.  

Jennifer Hartley, Director of Invest Newcastle, part of NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “We have led a delegation to UKREiiF since its inception and this year we could really feel the excitement from the investment community about what we have to offer across Newcastle and the North East.  

“The palpable energy on our pavilion throughout the week has reaffirmed our confidence that the city region is emerging as a premier destination for real estate investment and infrastructure development.” 

UKREiiF coincided with a number of major capital investment announcements for Newcastle, including the ground-breaking ceremony for the £500m Health Innovation Neighbourhood led by Newcastle University and the signing of a development agreement between the Newcastle Helix Partnership and igloo Regeneration to bring forward 375 homes on the 24-acre innovation district.   

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was also signed between Newcastle City Council and SSE Energy Solutions in a move that will see the latter establish a regional headquarters in Newcastle.  

Michelle Percy, Director of Investment and Growth, Newcastle City Council, said: “This is such an exciting time for Newcastle with global interest in investment opportunities that will benefit residents across the city region.  

“It was great to be able to enter the agreement with SSE at UKREiiF, and we are excited about their announcement to bring jobs and investment to the city with a new regional headquarters.” 

Taking place from 21st to 23rd May, UKREiiF came at a pivotal time for North East England, following the creation of the new mayoral authority and the unlocking of a £1.4bn (£48m per annum) investment fund and £160m Investment Zone.  

Rob Hamilton, Head of Strategy & Innovation, North East Combined Authority, said: “UKREiiF provided a great opportunity for us to talk about the breadth of opportunities we have across the North East.  

“The new combined authority will work with partners to bring new investment into our cities and towns; we look forward to building on the connections made at the conference to advance regional regeneration and inclusive development goals.” 

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