Portland House launches following multi-million-pound refurbishment

The former head office of Newcastle Building Society will open this week following a multi-million-pound renovation.

Portland House will be unveiled at a launch event on November 3rd amid strong demand for best-in-class office space across Newcastle city centre. The building already has 30% of its space under offer.

A 12-month long refurbishment project was part of a strategic investment by developers James Keegan and Oliver Holland to create a modern 60,000 sq. ft. workplace and revitalise the 1990s-built office.

The concept for the five-storey building has been to promote productivity, sustainability, and wellbeing. New features include a communal workspace in the Grade II listed Broadcasting House, bookable meeting rooms, biophilic installations, hotel-quality showers and changing facilities, as well as electric charge points for cars and e-bikes.

The transformation has been completed by national office fit out specialists Ultimate Group.

James Keegan commented: “We are passionate about sustainable development – this has been key to the decision to refurbish, rather than demolish, Portland House and save the emission of thousands of tonnes of embodied carbon.

“Working with our design team we have developed an energy efficient scheme which revitalised the existing building and reduced unnecessary waste – we recycled over 97% of our waste, more than 150 tonnes in the strip out alone, something we are very proud of.

“We have stripped the building back to its bare bones to comprehensively upgrade the mechanical and electrical systems. Working with Aspire, we have delivered a market leading connectivity solution for our tenants.”

Portland House has been certified as WiredScore Platinum by the global digital connectivity certification system that assesses and benchmarks buildings’ digital infrastructure.

Oliver Holland added: “We see our aims of designing a building that promotes wellbeing and productivity as being complimentary. We have installed biophilic installations and used anti-viral and air purifying paint to improve air quality. We know from multiple studies that a healthy and happy office is an effective one.

“We have worked with HqO to develop an app that effectively runs the building. The goal is to provide tenants with a seamless experience – to make their lives in Portland House as simple and enjoyable as possible. Occupiers will use their phone for access control and to invite visitors and book meeting rooms, but the app also hosts partnerships with local businesses including yoga studios and gyms as well as providing access to on-site services such as dry cleaning, bike servicing and health and beauty treatments.

“We look forward to announcing the completion of our first round of lettings very soon.”

BNP Paribas Real Estate, Sanderson Weatherall and Parker Knights have been appointed as letting agents for Portland House.

Portland House in Newcastle Picture: DAVID WOOD

Portland House in Newcastle Picture: DAVID WOOD