Gateshead Borough Council has approved plans for the £13m Design Centre for the North.
The centre – which is funded by regional development agency One North East, the European Regional Development Fund and developer Terrace Hill – has been set up to drive growth in design, innovation and product development.
The 4000m2, four-storey building, which will sit in the Baltic Business Quarter, has been designed by architect Red Box Design Group.
One half of the building will be devoted to Design Network North, an initiative also funded by One North East, which will assess innovative design projects, provide funding, and act as a broker for designers in the region.
Design Network North, which is set to launch on 27 March, will be co-ordinated by RTC North and supported by the universities of Newcastle, Northumbria and Teesside. An agreement with the Design Council, which will formalise collaboration, is set to be signed.
The other half of the building will house offices for the region’s design consultancies.
Malcolm Page, deputy chief executive of One North East, says, ‘This announcement is very positive news for the Design Centre for the North, and signifies an important step in making this exciting project a reality.’
Martin Vickerman, director at Terrace Hill, says, ‘We are confident that this new centre will provide both a stimulus for future investment in the design industry in the North East, together with a focal point for inspiring and promoting innovative and productive design companies in the region.’
Work is set to start later this year, with the building scheduled to take 15 months to complete.