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School in Newcastle city centre ‘will drive forward the workforce of the future’

Plans to create Newcastle’s long awaited University Technical College in the £200m Stephenson Quarter will help the region develop the workforce of the future in the best location, developers say.

Clouston Group marked a successful year last year when Phase One of Stephenson Quarter was completed with the letting of The Rocket office scheme to US firm Convergys, following on the from opening of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, a car park and the refurbishment of the Boiler Shop events space.

Now the developers say work could start very soon on Phase Two, which will see around £24.5m invested into the creation of a pioneering technical college and a new managed office scheme, currently called the Phoenix Office Building.

Submitted plans for the second phase show how the Stephenson Quarter could provide the base for the North East Futures University Technical College (UTC), part of which will be housed in the renovated 19th Century Hawthorn Engineering Works building, as well as a new office scheme.

UTCs are new types of school already in existence in key cities for 14 to 19-year-olds with an objective to prepare students for work or higher education in areas of high level skill demand for the regional economy.

It is proposed that the UTC will specialise in the information technology and healthcare science sectors for up to 600 students, the subjects chosen being seen as vital to providing future employees with the skills needed to drive the North East economy.

The trustees and sponsors of the UTC – which include Accenture, Hewlett-Packard, Sage, Ubisoft, RTCNorth, the Academic Health Science Network, Health Education North East, the regional NHS Trusts, the North East LEP and the University of Sunderland – believe the creation of the UTC in such a location will help create the workforce of the future.

Bob Paton, chair of North East Futures UTC board of trustees, said: “We believe that North East Futures UTC is an essential component in the North East skills strategy and will help us develop the workforce of the future for both the information technology and healthcare science sectors.”

David Clouston, managing director of Clouston Group, which also owns the nearby luxury Crowne Plaza Hotel, said: “We are speculating significant funds to turn the long proposed Newcastle UTC into a reality here at Stephenson Quarter. This is an ideal site for such an ambitious project, a new type of school offering innovative ways of learning centred around specialist subjects.”

David Clouston with Alison Shaw, principal designate of North East Futures UTC

David Clouston with Alison Shaw, principal designate of North East Futures UTC (Photo: Clouston Group)

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