Breaking Ground at Pilgrim’s Quarter

The redevelopment of Newcastle’s historic Pilgrim Street has been almost ten years in the making for Ryder, which has led the design of this major city centre regeneration project from the masterplanning stage

A major component of the development took a significant step forward last week, with a ground breaking ceremony at Pilgrim’s Quarter attended by representatives from HMRC, Newcastle City Council, developer Reuben Brothers (Newcastle) Limited and their project team.

HMRC announced in November last year that Newcastle’s Pilgrim’s Quarter, part of the Ryder designed Pilgrim Street development, will become the new home for HM Revenue and Customs in the north east.

Part of the Government Hub network, HMRC’s state of the art regional centre will be based at the new development.  The regional centre will be the office base for approximately 9,000 full time equivalent HMRC roles.  The Newcastle building will be the largest of HMRC’s 14 regional centres, at 43,000 square metres and marks an important step in the department’s wider transformation agenda.

Having recently worked with HMRC to deliver its new award winning Government Hub in Liverpool’s India Buildings, Ryder understood the unique requirements of the brief, working closely with HMRC to design the building and to ensure the highest design quality on this prominent city centre site.

Ian Crow, director at Ryder, has led the Pilgrim Street development from the outset.  He said: “Living and working in Newcastle, it’s a real privilege to lead this transformative development.

“Designing high quality public places and aspirational workspace on Pilgrim Street has not been without challenge.  The land is heavily constrained and has been undeveloped and largely vacant for over twenty years.  In collaboration with our client, the project team and Newcastle City Council, we have been able to overcome the site constraints and design a scheme that will bring new life, new jobs and new opportunity to Newcastle.”

Marc Gill, HMRC’s senior leader in Newcastle said, “Today marks a significant milestone in our journey to our new HMRC Regional Centre.  Once complete, Pilgrim’s Quarter will provide a first class, modern, digitally enabled workspace for HMRC’s largest office – right here in Newcastle. HMRC is extremely proud of its history in the north east and we look forward to continuing to provide thousands of high quality Government careers in an iconic location in the heart of Newcastle City Centre.”

Roger Thornton, Head of Property at Motcomb Estates Ltd says on behalf of Reuben Brothers (Newcastle) Ltd: “Now that the euphoria of the HMRC announcement, bringing 9,000 staff into the city centre by 2027 has settled, the priority has been to move on at pace with planning and demolition works for the Pilgrim’s Quarter scheme.”