Plans for a £20m lab facility in Newcastle upon Tyne approved

The laboratory will form part of Newcastle's science and business hub

Newcastle's new laboratory facility has been created via a design team led by Aura alongside architectural firm Ryder

Newcastle Laboratory will provide more than 70,000ft2 (6,503m2) of specialist facilities for the life sciences and healthcare sector in the region, offering incubation and grow-on space.

The building will join Newcastle's other new builds, The Core, and Urban Sciences Building, forming what is now called Science Central, a 24 acre City Centre site being delivered by a long-term partnership between Newcastle University and Newcastle City Council.

The first building at the site known as The Core has now opened and Bowmer & Kirkland is constructing a second Urban Sciences Building for completion in September 2017.

The building has been developed by a design team led by Aura alongside award-winning architectural firm Ryder, which has been supported by leading industry specialists including CAM-SCI, to ensure the building meets the needs of the healthcare and life sciences sector.

Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council said: 'Newcastle Laboratory will provide much needed specialist facilities to support pioneering research and significant expertise happening here already, building on Newcastle’s global reputation for research excellence in life sciences.

'Science Central is already home to three national research centres – testament to Newcastle’s world-class strengths in the science and health sector, and this new facility will help accelerate the pace of growth in this sector, and create the next generation of highly skilled jobs in the region.'

Emma Banks, CEO of Datatrial, who has been working on the life sciences strategy with the North East LEP, said: 'Newcastle and the North East already has a vibrant and internationally recognised healthcare and life sciences industry. With the addition of laboratory space and associated business support services at Newcastle Science Central, we have an opportunity to better meet the needs of our already growing sector, attract more investment to the region, support new businesses as they grow and create new and exciting employment prospects.'

It is anticipated that building work will start on site in early 2017, and the facility is expected to be up and running by spring 2018.

Newcastle Laboratory is being funded by Newcastle City Council, the North East LEP as part of the North East Growth Deal (Local Growth Fund) from Government, and also decision is expected on funding from European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.