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Regent Centre is a large business park in Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, England. The Centre is home to a variety of companies, including banking group Virgin Money whose Head Office is located on the site. The Centre has its own transport interchange with a station on the Tyne and Wear Metro and integrated bus station.
North British Properties started to build Regent Centre in 1970 and finished in 1981; at completion it was the largest office complex in Europe, covering a total area of 11 acres (4.5 ha). The current owner-developer is the Fordgate Group. The land is the former site of the Regent Pit of the Coxlodge Colliery. The centre unveiled a new logo and identity in late 2008; this new logo is similar in style to the one used for Regent Point. The centre's slogan is "Better for Business".
Regent Centre houses the Regional HQ of HM Revenue & Customs as well as the DVLA and HSE. Other tenants include the Labour Party, and Gleeds. Notable former tenants have included The Sage Group and AMEC. The Newcastle regional centre for the Open University was housed here, although it was relocated to Gateshead in 2009.
There is also a hair salon/coffee shop. Previously there had been a branch of Barclays Bank located in the Regent Centre buildings.
Within walking distance of Regent Centre, there is a Metro station, Gosforth Academy, Gosforth Library and Customer Service Centre, and Gosforth Leisure Centre, comprising several amenities including swimming pools and gym. There is also an Asda superstore close by, which in mid 2007 had an extension built which houses a Restaurant. Across from ADSA there is a furniture store, which used to be a Jaguar Cars showroom. Gosforth High Street is also within a few minutes walk. St Charles Primary school is located on Regent Farm Road, across from the Virgin Money buildings, between Regent Centre and a housing estate, Regent Farm Estate.
Planning applications were granted to expand and modernise a large section of the Regent Centre site, which is adjacent to the Metro line. In April 2007, work began on this area of land which is also called Regent Point; building work began in early 2008 on the 100,000 sq ft (9,300 m2) building. It is a four story office building with a glazed corner tower and modelled to be similar to the existing Regent Centre buildings.
This plot was vacant from many years, as the original Regent Centre building which occupied (Clayton House) it was demolished in 1999. There have been many different accepted plans for this site, including plans for a 5 story building in 1998. In 2004 there were plans for a 7 story building with retail space on the ground floor, however these plans were withdrawn in July 2005.
Developer Fordgate Group appointed Bowmer & Kirkland as the main contractor for Regent Point. The architects were Howarth Litchfield Partnership, The consulting engineers were Cundall, and Home Stretch Properties Ltd. were also involved in the project. Caunton Engineering supplied and erected over 600 tonnes of beam and column structural steelwork. The building has a BREEAM rating of "Excellent".
The Virgin Money bank has its headquarters on a site that is adjacent to, although not technically a part of Regent Centre. This complex is called Jubilee House. The Red Box Design Group has been involved with the development of all of the currently standing buildings for the bank.
The focal point of Regent Centre since 1965 had been Northern Rock's old tower 7 storey building. In early 2006 this building was demolished and its replacement, known as Partnership House, that is 10 storeys high and cost £35 million was completed in November 2008. Two of Northern Rocks other buildings on the site were completed in the 1990s, two further buildings were built in the early 2000s. The 1960s tower building also housed a branch of the Northern Rock bank.
Northern Rock had financial difficulties in 2007 due to the subprime mortgage crisis and was nationalised in 2008. This led to the company deciding to downsize, including job cubs and deciding to put this new tower building up for let or sale. Newcastle City Council spent £22 million purchasing the building, and let it out to another firm, a company set up by the council with support services firm Carillion, on a 25 year lease.
In November 2011 Virgin Money agreed to purchase Northern Rock from the British Government. The deal which was finalised on 1 January 2012. As of October 12, 2012 Northern Rock was rebranded to Virgin Money and these buildings become Virgin Money's headquarters for their savings and mortgages business. Northern Rock House was renamed Jubilee House as part of the rebranding exercise.
With the new developments, as of March 2009, there is empty office space to let. There is space available in Regent Point, Horsley House North, Dobson House and Eldon House West. The buildings are named after well known local industrialists and architects, such as John Dobson and Lord Eldon. The Grainger Suite (soon to be renamed Gosforth Services Offices) is located in Dobson House.
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