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Newcastle University unveils major hospital redevelopment plan

Words: Huw Morris
Artist's impression / Newcastle University

Newcastle University is proposing a significant redevelopment of the former general hospital into a centre of excellence for care of older people after buying the site.

The university has unveiled plans to develop the Campus for Ageing and Vitality, which occupies part of the 29-acre site. It has bought the former hospital from Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for £7.5 million.

The proposal is for a mixed-use development covering three zones – elderly care, research facilities and a residential zone for housing and business development.

To the north of the site, the university is proposing a ‘Discovery Crucible’, which would house laboratories alongside cutting-edge clinics. This would allow NHS patients to be seen by experts across all disciplines and as part of university research projects, providing teams with the opportunity to learn from expertise outside their field.

The central zone would encompass a ‘spectrum of independence’ test-bed development, which would provide a range of care for older people and a centre of excellence in dementia care. This could encompass a dementia care village, as modelled in the Netherlands, a care home, intermediate care facility and assisted living, such as prototype homes for older people using innovative technology to enable them to live independently.

The vision also proposes a southerly residential zone with potential for business development encouraging small and medium-sized enterprises and commercial partners, as well as opportunities for creative arts.

“Our unique position with expertise in ageing, nutrition, digital science and tech combined with the forward-thinking nature of our city partners, particularly around the challenges of supporting an ageing population, could help transform this site,” said vice-chancellor and president Chris Day. “This is an exciting and ambitious vision which looks to the next 10 to 15 years to ensure that we are a world-leading hotbed of innovation and creative research in the field of ageing.”

The university said the proposal is consistent with Newcastle City Council’s planning framework although its plans are at an early stage.

Image credit | Newcastle University