A landmark building that’s formed the centrepiece of the region’s largest trading estate for 87 years is set to welcome new tenants.
St George’s House – which featured in the opening of Oscar-winning drama “The Kings Speech” – has been pre-let ahead of completion of its £4m refurbishment by commercial property developer, UK Land Estates, part of a £32.5m programme of refurbishments across its portfolio between 2021 and 2025.
Little work had been carried out on the eye-catching property, that sits at the heart of Gateshead’s Team Valley, since it was built in 1937. However, the UK Land Estates investment has turned the showpiece two-storey property overlooking Kingsway North and South, into flexible, leading-edge office space, while retaining the integrity and distinctiveness of the original design.
Boasting 25,000sqft of prime office space, St George’s House is one of the estate’s most eye-catching properties. The unique building – with distinctive curved façade matching the bend of the Kingsway roundabout – has been let to a large national business.
Keith Taylor, UK Land Estates managing director, said: “St George’s House is a Team Valley crown jewel and will make a fantastic HQ once redevelopment work is complete.
“As owners and operators of Team Valley, we could not pass up the opportunity to purchase this historic property when it came on the market, and nobody should be surprised to see it snapped up so quickly. It’s important to us that the original character and integrity of the building has been retained, while also creating a modern, accessible space that’s attractive to tenants and flexible enough to meet their requirements.”
The £4m investment will achieve an EPC “A” rating and see St George’s equipped with rooftop photovoltaic panels, EV charging points and ultra-modern insulation. The super energy efficient building has had a new heating and cooling system installed and will also retain its current “green roof”, further reducing its carbon footprint.
Over 700 businesses, employing more than 20,000 people are based on Team Valley Trading Estate, which was established in 1936 as a response to soaring unemployment.
One of the first buildings to be built on Team Valley, St George’s House was officially opened by King George VI, played in an Oscar-winning performance by actor Colin Firth, who is seen opening the building at the beginning of the film.
Patrick Matheson, partner at Knight Frank, joint-marketing agent for St George’s House, said: “It is a real thrill to market properties like this, as they are so rare. The North East has a rich industrial heritage, but so few of these historic buildings remain, having been updated beyond recognition or demolished.
“UK Land Estates has done a fantastic job to create this vibrant workspace while holding on to all the character that makes St George’s such a special, recognisable building.”
Jessica Ross, associate partner, Naylors Gavin Black, which is also marketing the property, said: “Having a tenant committed to the building ahead of works completing is testament to the estate and character of the building itself, although it’s not a surprise because the quality of the refit, strategic location and sustainability credentials are outstanding.
“Accessibility and proximity to local amenities is key for firms searching for a new HQ and when upgrades to the A1 Western Bypass are complete, this site’s connectivity will be enhanced enormously.”
Close to cafes, shops, a hotel, supermarket and gym, Team Valley is a five-minute car journey from Newcastle city centre and just a short hop to Newcastle International Airport, boasting excellent public transport links and parking.
In addition to the main St George’s House office complex, UK Land Estates also acquired four adjoining units of between 1,127 sq ft and 3,734 sq ft, that are also being refurbished to provide modern self-contained offices.