Aspirational net-zero plans for town centre site

Published: 22 November 2021

Council Leader, Aspire Housing, Ryecroft, Newcastle town centre, regeneration, collaboration hub
Council Leader Simon Tagg at the Ryecroft with Sinéad Butters MBE, Group Chief Executive of Aspire Housing, and MP Aaron Bell.

The Ryecroft is the future home of we are aspire. The redevelopment is made possible by the Future High Street Funds granted to the Council. The first phase is the demolition of the Civic Offices.

The Ryecroft in Newcastle-under-Lyme is set for an exciting transformation as the future home for we are aspire.

The plans will see we are aspire relocate from its current base at The Brampton to an aspirational collaboration hub in the heart of the town centre – redeveloping a section of the Ryecroft site, which has been used mostly as a car park since the old Sainsbury's supermarket was demolished a decade ago. The collaboration hub will combine meeting, work and social space with up to 90 new community living homes for over-55s.

The redevelopment of the site has been made possible by the Future High Street Funds successfully granted to Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council. The first phase is the demolition of the old Civic Offices which is due for completion in spring 2022.

we are aspire comprises 9,000-home housing association Aspire Housing, Staffordshire’s largest independent provider of apprenticeships Achieve Training, and Realise charity, which supports local people into employment, skills and training.

Sinéad Butters MBE, Group Chief Executive of Aspire Housing, said: “Regeneration of our communities and our town centre has always been a big part of our strategy, so we are delighted to be making this move to embed we are aspire right in the centre of Newcastle-under-Lyme.

“By introducing a cutting-edge collaboration hub for our group, with new work, meeting and social spaces, as well as homes for older people, we intend to transform the Ryecroft site and help to drive the regeneration of our town centre – bringing additional footfall and energy to the heart of Newcastle.

“We're looking to create an exemplar net zero development – a building which will greatly reduce our carbon footprint, help to sustain our local environment and vastly improve the site and its surroundings with the highest design standards.”

The Ryecroft redevelopment project is part of a growing collaboration between we are aspire and Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council around town centre regeneration, and one of a number of initiatives currently underway that will make a positive difference to the region.

Council Leader Simon Tagg said: “This is a great next step in the development of the Ryecroft area of Newcastle.

“Aspire are as committed to the transformation of our town centre as much as the Council and they share our visions. With our aim for a more people-friendly and vibrant town centre it’s vital that the organisation remains in the heart of Newcastle and is part of a step-change into the 21st century.

“I am really looking forward to the Council receiving the planning proposals and the architect’s scheme inspired by Sinéad’s team.”

Architectural and urban design company Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCBS) has been appointed to support the design of the new collaboration hub. The award-winning architectural firm specialises in zero carbon development and has worked on high-profile projects both internationally and locally. FCBS has also been appointed as the architect for the redevelopment of the former Zanzibar nightclub site, which was acquired by Aspire in early 2020.

Last updated 22 November 2021