A new milestone has been reached in the construction of Newcastle’s first University Technical College (UTC) being established on the rapidly emerging Stephenson Quarter.

A ‘topping out’ ceremony has been held to mark the pouring of the last concrete into the main structure that will become the innovative North East Futures UTC, opening this September.

The final concrete was trowelled off by Pam Clouston, director of Clouston Group, the developer behind the £200m Stephenson Quarter; Dan Sydes, principal designate of the UTC; and Cllr Ged Bell, Cabinet Member for Employment at Newcastle City Council.

The development is a key part of the next phase of work at Stephenson Quarter – an ambitious mixed-use development that is integrating education, tech businesses, hospitality and the arts. Galliford Try is the main contractor on site.

Pam Clouston explained: “The UTC topping out represents another important stage in the development of this exciting new school but also the wider Stephenson Quarter. We are striving to deliver a vision for the city that truly integrates learning, working and leisure in a dynamic cultural environment.

“Stephenson Quarter will be a unique community within the city. The UTC is just part of that emerging vision. The next important elements will be the Meteor building and Stephenson Square.”

Cllr Ged Bell, said: “Stephenson Quarter has a bold, exciting vision at its heart. The UTC is part of that vision, integrating education with local businesses working in technology, hospitality and the arts.

“We very much welcome the UTC’s focus on developing skills in our major growth sectors of life sciences and digital technology, working collaboratively with employers who will provide employment opportunities in those sectors. This will help us deliver the right skills for young people across the wider North East, and jobs of the future for generations to come.”

North East Futures UTC, a new type of school offering innovative ways of learning for 14-18 year olds and centred around the specialist subjects of IT and health sciences, is being built alongside Meteor (formerly Phoenix), a planned six-storey office and creative business hub.

Dan Sydes, principal designate at North East Futures UTC, said: “I’m delighted to see the UTC building really taking shape now and we’re well on schedule to be opening in September.

“The unique support we have from high-profile industry partners and employers sets us apart from other schools and colleges in the region. They’ve been involved in the establishment of the UTC from the start and continue to help us to develop our curriculum to ensure what we teach our young people is relevant to the workplace.

“Parents can see that their children will get real-life experience of their chosen careers while young people will know that an apprenticeship can be a vital step on the way to employment. We have been pleased with the students who have signed up but there are still a few places in our sixth form.”

The UTC is sponsored by the University of Sunderland and supported by companies such as Ubisoft, Sage and Accenture as well as organisations like the NHS.

Ultimately, some 600 pupils will attend the school, providing jobs for around 40 teachers along with 20 other ancillary staff. The Meteor building may house and create around 800 jobs.

Stephenson Quarter is based in the centre of the city with easy access to both the Metro and Central station along with great bus and road links.

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