April 25, 2024

North East deals of the week: key contracts, acquisitions and investments

Homes England announced a landmark deal to build 1,100 homes close to Newcastle city centre after buying a key plot of land from administrators in a multimillion-pound deal.

Developer Newby first announced plans in 2018 to turn Quayside West – the largest land parcel in Forth Yards – into a new gateway into the city, with hundreds of homes, shops, restaurants and business and leisure facilities. The plans were thrown into doubt last year when the company behind the scheme went into administration.

Shortly afterwards, administrators at FRP confirmed they had accepted an offer of £7m for the land, deemed one of the most significant brownfield regeneration sites in Newcastle. Now it can be revealed that Homes England has snapped up the site, which has a capacity for around 1,100 homes and a key role to play in the area’s transformation.

Peter Denton, chief executive of Homes England, said: “It’s hard to overstate the importance of this acquisition. Not only will the site deliver around 1,100 quality, sustainable new homes, but bringing Quayside West into public sector ownership will act as a catalyst for the wider regeneration of Forth Yards, a key regeneration area for the city that has been stalled for more than 20 years.”

Craig Allen, sales director at Encore Group(Image: Encore Group)

North East printing and packaging firm Encore Group is set to create new jobs after snapping up a former Walkers Crisps site. The Washington-based business is the UK’s largest independent manufacturer of printed envelopes, responsible for a quarter of all envelopes sent in the UK, and it has seen rapid growth over the last three years, triggering expansion plans and the need for more storage space. The business has snapped up a 103,000sq ft unit in Peterlee, on the site of the former Walkers Crisps distribution centre.

Formed 40 years ago, the business includes packaging and envelope divisions and it is expecting to record turnover of around £54m for the current financial year. The acquisition, aided by Kate Rickett of Muckle LLP, is part of a multimillion-pound investment.

Group sales director Craig Allen said: “We are thrilled with the new site and it will hopefully act as a catalyst for further growth. The last few years have been incredible across the business, and it meant that we ran short of space, so this site will initially serve as a much needed storage solution for both raw materials and finished products.”

Newcells Biotech CEO Mike Nicholds(Image: The Bigger Picture Agency Ltd)

Newcastle life sciences company Newcells Biotech secured a £2.35m investment to help ramp up its work on laboratory models that help avoid animal testing.

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