We acquired the former Swan Hunter site in 2009.
The site is five miles from the North Sea and the Port of Tyne principal gateway to the UK and features an operational 400m quay edge which is well suited to meeting the demands of the offshore industry.
It is around 20 hectares in size, of which 17 hectares have been designated as an Enterprise Zone.
More than £100m is being spent on redeveloping the former shipyard as a site for the offshore energy, subsea and marine sectors given its access to deep water berths.
This includes a mix of funding from the European Regional Development Fund, Homes and Communities Agency, North East Local Enterprise Partnership as well as private sector and council investment.
Once complete, it will include high specification bespoke industrial units and office space from 5,000sq ft to 500,000sq ft.
What has already happened?
New road and utility infrastructure has been provided to the site including junction improvements to Hadrian Road and Buddle Street and a new, stronger bridge at Benton Way. Extensive demolition has also been completed to provide cleared development plots across the site.
At the quay, phase one repairs to the West Quay have been completed and the river berths have been dredged to between 7.5m and 9.1m deep.
The Swans Centre for Innovation opened in July 2016 providing over 700m3 of office floor space plus meeting space targeting the offshore energy, subsea and marine sectors. It is home to seven businesses including Rever Offshore, Swan Hunter NE Ltd and ALE Heavylift.
Swans was declared an Enterprise Zone (EZ) in 2014. The EZ designation provides a simplified planning regime via the Swans Local Development Order (LDO). The LDO means that planning permission is not required for buildings that comply with conditions such as size and height in the LDO and are occupied by businesses in the oil and gas, offshore renewables and subsea sectors.
What else do the plans involve?
Survey and feasibility work is underway for schemes to complete demolition at the site and improve the quay infrastructure (Steel, East and West Quays).
Phase 2 of the Swans Centre for Innovation will start in spring 2019 providing an additional 940 sqm of office floorspace
What are the benefits?
Part of the Swans site was disposed to WD Close Engineering in 2013 who subsequently developed fabrication units and has completed work for clients such as BAE Systems, Osbit and Subsea7/GE Gas and Oil.
The completion of the deep water dredge and the Oceana Link Road in 2015 has enabled WD Close and SMD to use the quay and deep water berths for load outs with the most spectacular being SMD’s delivery of mining machines for Nautilus in 2016.
Once finished this mix of quay facilities and an advanced manufacturing park with Enterprise Zone status will make the site one of the largest specialist quayside sites in the UK.
The redevelopment will also help to increase footfall into Wallsend town centre.
How it's been funded
The scheme has received funding from the European Regional Development Fund.