The Cameron Coalition government intent on retrenchment is cutting back on government funding and the project, according to this report from The Evening Chronicle, may be ‘on hold’, if not scuppered. Extract from the article below.
Will Science City survive?
FUNDING for a flagship regeneration project could be lost as a result of the cuts.
Council chiefs fear the decision to axe regional development agency One North East will mean the £8m the organisation pledged for the Science Central scheme will no longer be paid.
And the Chronicle can reveal incoming leader Coun David Faulkner has written to business secretary Vince Cable to urge him to safeguard the project.
Science Central is being developed on the site of the former Tyne brewery, which was bought by the council, One North East and Newcastle University, and will host the city’s green energy research centre, in the hope it can underpin a new era of hi-tech jobs.
One North East had given approval in principle to invest in the project but after the Government announced it is phasing-out RDAs, there are concerns both the funding could be axed and the site itself could be sold.
A decision on which schemes will still receive cash from One North East will be made next month. Meanwhile Coun Faulkner has written to Mr Cable to emphasise the importance of Science Central, which comes on the back of his visit to the region, during which city leaders discussed with him the future of assets owned by the RDA.
The letter says: “I understand of course the need for central Government to secure good value from those assets. But it is important to distinguish passive assets from those that are an integral part of local regeneration and business development schemes.
“Newcastle’s most significant example is the Science City projects: a three-way partnership between Newcastle University, the council and RDA to bring technology businesses to the heart of the city. In this case a transfer of the RDA’s interest into a bilateral partnership of the university and council is a logical means of moving forward with a vital scheme for our city.”
Newcastle City Council’s new director of policy, strategy and communications Andrew Little said: “There is an understandable need for Government to manage-out the assets the RDA owns but what we are saying is that Science Central is different to many other assets because it is part of economic regeneration.”
Source: Evening Chron. Online 16.08.10
|"Science City" Photo BFTB|
Meanwhile ... The national press have identified a prize winner for a recent architectural addition to the city’s skyline. Read to the bottom of the piece. I promise a photograph soon.
Source: Carbuncle Cup 2010 The Independent 13.08.10.