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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 July, 2005, 19:50 GMT 20:50 UK
City at the forefront of science
Artist's impression of Science City
The science centre would be in the heart of Newcastle
Ambitious plans to make Newcastle a world-beating science city creating 5,000 new jobs, have been unveiled.

North East scientists are already leading the way in the fields of stem cells, aging, energy, health and molecular engineering research.

However, it is hoped that 100 new technology-based companies could be set up or attracted to the region by 2010.

Newcastle City Council, One NorthEast, and Newcastle University have all given their backing to the scheme.

The plans are a response to the Government's decision last year to designate Newcastle as a Science City - one of only six in the country earmarked for extra support to build on existing strengths in pioneering research.

The multi-million pound project involves developments on a number of sites in the city, including part of the former Scottish & Newcastle Breweries site.

'Raise aspirations'

The centrepiece of the project will be 100,000 sq metres of new buildings called Science Central in the heart of Newcastle.

Paul Walker, chairman of Newcastle Science City Partnership, said: "This is a unique opportunity for Newcastle and the wider region to capitalise on the significant research expertise and knowledge-based business that already exists here.

"The teaching of science in all Newcastle schools will also receive a boost.

"The additional resources will enhance opportunities for young people to experience the excitement of science and raise their aspirations and achievement in science subjects."

Newcastle City Council's Councillor John Shipley, a member of the science city steering group, said: "The benefits could be greater than winning Capital of Culture."


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