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Case Study: Newcastle


Newcastle is the eighth most populated city in the UK, and the North East’s largest.

The city is one of the UK’s six ‘Science Cities’ and has a long history of innovation from the development of safety lamps to Stephenson’s Rocket to Swan’s light to Charles Parsons steam turbine.

Digital and Technology Sector

Newcastle’s two universities, Newcastle University and Northumbria University are globally renowned across several topics, including: cloud computing and big data, information systems, VR and digital media, computer forensics and security, gaming, and visual effects. Investing in skills for the city’s young and creating a high calibre talent pool, ensures that the local economy’s digital sector thrives.

Between 2006 and 2016, the number of digital and technology firms in Newcastle rose by 429%, with 148 lunching in the final year. Then, in 2017 the number of jobs increased across the North East, rising by 8% in Newcastle, 12% Sunderland, and 19.5% in Sunderland.

The software and technology market in the city accounts for 2,800 of all businesses, employing 27,000 people. From 2013 to 2017, the industry cluster across the North East grew by 30.7%, the second highest rate in the UK, only behind London.

In a 2018 Tech Nation study Newcastle was identified as one of the ten fastest growing tech hubs in the UK. The city is home to Sage, the only FTSE 100 software company, as well as a regional base for other digital leaders, including: Epic Games, Ubisoft, IBM, ZeroLight, CCP, Mkodo, Orange Bus, and Bede Gaming. By 2020, the city’s digital and technology sector is expected to grow by £25 billion.

Wider Job Market

Research by Centre for Cities ranked Newcastle seventh for both city centre population and job growth.

From 2002 to 2015, the number of people living in the city centre rose by 112%. While the wider Newcastle area has seen strong and consistent population growth of 0.70% to 2.13% year on year.

1998-2015 saw the number of jobs in the city rise by 29%. Newcastle’s Professional Services sector accounts for approximately 25% of the region’s wealth, employing over 130,000 people, with over 30,000 students studying financial, professional and business-related courses.

While the Port of Tyne, is a major Logistics Sector asset, as a hub for the transportation of energy and goods, providing its own integrated solutions, including storage, warehousing and distribution. It is Nissan’s major outlet for cars, exporting roughly 350,000 every year, and inlet for its wider supply chain.

The North East has an established pharmaceutical cluster that accounts for £632m of the region’s GVA, whilst Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust topped the table for a fourth consecutive year, undertaking the UK’s largest number of clinical trials, recruiting almost 12,500 patients.

Our Developments

Keystone’s most prolific project in Newcastle is the currently under-construction Hadrian’s Tower, set back from Rutherford Street. Soon to be the city’s tallest building, standing at 27-storeys, the development will house 162 1,2, and 3-bedroom apartments for private rent. The apartments will boast generous welcoming reception halls and cloaks storage space, opening to the middle of the apartments where there is a central kitchen/family/breakfast and living room and then branching off separately to bedrooms with fitted wardrobes and dressing space, as well as a well-appointed bathroom/WC.

In 2019, two additional acquisitions were made in the city. First, a site at Pottery Lane. Located between the Tyne and Utilita Arena, the area is one of the city’s prime regeneration spots. The Pottery Lane plot has outline planning permission for a residential development with capacity for around 224 apartments, 110 of which are one-bedroom units.

Second, is Brett Wharf on the Southbank of the River Tyne, directly opposite Newcastle’s quayside. Offering striking views across the river and the city’s landmark bridges, Brett Wharf will offer residents a unique and tranquil riverside address. Pre-application has been submitted for 220 apartments, over two buildings, and discussions with Gateshead Council and Historic England have begun.


Rapid growth and a strong economy driven by the city’s nurturing of specialist skills to meet sector needs are increasingly making Newcastle one of the UK’s most attractive regional cities. Professionals and graduates seeking high-quality accommodation close to the city centre maintain demand and incentivise property investment in the region. Forecasts indicate that Newcastle will continue to flourish and remain economically stable, with property prices expected to rise by 17.6% over the next five years.

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