At the University of Newcastle, we have a long-term vision to grow, develop knowledge and be a driver of our innovative regional economy. One core component of this is our Honeysuckle City Campus Development. This exciting project will strengthen our presence in the Newcastle CBD, enhancing our positive civic, cultural and social impact in the region.
In 2018, we released our Concept Master Plan for the Honeysuckle site. This plan, which will take upwards of 10 years to realise in full, proposes to deliver a mix of innovative research and education spaces, places to collaborate with industry and community, and accommodation for students to enjoy the best of living and working in the heart of the city.
We are progressing plans in line with the Department of Planning and Environment’s statutory processes, and we’re committed to providing continual updates and consultation opportunities to our students, staff, partners and communities. Our primary focus is delivering the first stage of the project (Stage 1A) – a building which will house an Innovation Hub and cutting-edge facilities for the School of Creative Industries.
The Honeysuckle City Campus Project Team received notice last week that the final piece in the Stage 1A start-up puzzle had been placed and that the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and the Environment had rubber-stamped their recent "fast-tracked" infrastructure program in the wake of COVID-19. With Honeysuckle Stage 1A included in this program, it gave our construction contractors the green light to get on site and prepare for main works.
There has been an enormous amount of work go into the planning, design, project management and delivery of the Stage 1A Project, lead by University of Newcastle Capital Projects Director, Damian Burke, managed by Senior Project Officer, Carole Mandicort-Jones and project administrated by Heather Kember.
Indicative timelines for the main construction period are as follows:
- Site establishment – week commencing 25 May 2020
- Construction commences – week commencing 8 June
- Façade commences – Quarter 4, 2020
- Fit-out works complete – Quarter 2, 2021
- External works complete – Quarter 2, 2021
- Construction and fit-out phase complete - mid-2021
The construction contract for the $25 million Stage 1A Honeysuckle City Campus project has been awarded to Hansen Yuncken who will bring to life the University’s latest development. The building will house the region’s new Integrated Innovation Network (I2N) Hub and additional facilities for the expanding School of Creative Industries.
Delivered through co-funding from the NSW Government, City of Newcastle and the University, the I2N shows a shared commitment to boosting the Hunter region’s digital research and technology capabilities through targeted infrastructure investment.
Newcastle and the Hunter region have a highly skilled workforce which supports a diverse range of industries. We are committed to growing that. The I2N Hub at Honeysuckle is an investment in the future of Newcastle as a city increasingly known for digital research and innovation. This Innovation Hub is going to boost business opportunities, and job growth for the region.
Hansen Yuncken, who have been awarded the building contract, have a strong reputation in delivering dynamic construction projects in the Hunter Region. Their successful delivery of the University of Newcastle’s iconic NUspace building testifies to their ability to make this first building at the University’s Honeysuckle City Campus something special.
The co-location of the Innovation Hub with the School of Creative Industries on our Honeysuckle City Campus will be dedicated space for students, academics, researchers and entrepreneurs to work alongside industry, technical specialists, business advisors and investors.
The School of Creative Industries has a strong reputation for offering students extensive access to industry expertise; helping to shape Australia’s next screenwriters, film and music producers, festival organisers, graphic artists and musicians. Creative Industries graduates complete their studies with unique skills and tools for a successful career.
Stage 1A is due to be complete in mid-2021 and the University of Newcastle wants the whole community – our students, neighbours and regions to take advantage of the opportunities this building will present.
We are proud to reveal the design for the first building on the Honeysuckle City Campus Development. A ‘stage within the city’, this building serves much like a gallery – pared back and sleek to reveal the creators and innovators within.
The building will house two groups set to benefit from colocation; the Hunter Innovation Project (HIP) Innovation Hub, and the School of Creative Industries. Brought together by the principles of creativity and entrepreneurship, the building’s residents will be inspired and empowered to make lasting contributions to the economic and cultural fabric of the region.
The building will be situated on the corner of Worth Place and Honeysuckle Drive. Works are set to begin on the site within a matter of months, with the finalisation date set for late 2020, and teaching to commence from 2021.
- Building use: Innovation Hub and School of Creative Industries
- Location: corner of Worth Place and Honeysuckle Drive
- Spaces include: education and research, seminar and conference, studios and exhibition, informal learning and networking, maker space, co-working, café
- Open to public: yes
- Height: 20m
- Levels: four
- Gross floor area: 3,200m2 (approx.)
- Design principles: transparency, emblematic, public, sustainability, flexibility
- Target completion date: late 2020
The Innovation Hub
The Innovation Hub is part funded by the University, and part funded by the NSW Government Restart NSW Fund, as part of the Hunter Innovation Project (HIP). HIP has four cornerstone partners:
- The University of Newcastle
- The City of Newcastle
- Newcastle NOW
- Hunter DiGiT
The partners have a collective vision to establish and nurture an innovation ecosystem in the Hunter region, and the Innovation Hub is one of three key HIP deliverables, along with Smart City infrastructure and the development of a Digital Precinct in the Newcastle CBD.
The University was awarded $4.84m in Restart NSW funds for the Innovation Hub, as part of the Hunter Infrastructure and Investment Fund.
This Hub will be an important piece of infrastructure that will enable strong contributions to the transition of our regional economy while providing spaces for the students, staff and collaborators to generate ideas and products.
The School of Creative Industries
The School of Creative Industries was formed in 2017 and is housed in NeW Space. It has positioned us as the education provider of choice for creative enterprises and artistic endeavours in the region, delivering the next generation of musicians, designers, writers and entrepreneurs. As our leadership in innovation and entrepreneurship has developed, we identified a need for further physical assets to support our creative output.
Access and Transport
The site is half way between the Honeysuckle and Civic Light Rail stops, benefitting from multiple public transport links. We are committed to a sustainable transport strategy, which promotes active and public transport.
We do not anticipate that Stage 1A works will impact CBD transport services or parking.
The Honeysuckle City Campus Development is subject to planning approvals from the NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) and the City of Newcastle before works can commence on site.
A State Significant Development Application (SSDA) was lodged in 2018 for the Honeysuckle Concept Plan under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and the provisions of the State Environmental Planning Policy (State and Regional Development 2011)
Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) prepares Assessment Report and recommends conditions for the Concept Master Plan State Significant Development Application (SSDA)
University of Newcastle lodges SSDA documentation for the first building (Stage 1A)
Department of Planning and Environment places SSDA on public exhibition. Further community and stakeholder consultation.
Construction Works for Stage 1A commence on site
Construction Works for Stage 1A completed
Stage 1A building commences operations
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The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.