Earlier Lord Burns, who was born in Hetton-le-Hole, spoke of his fond memories of the North East. A keen Sunderland fan, he admitted that he had many agonising afternoons at St James’ Park, which is adjacent to the new business school building.
He was in the region to officially launch the new Barrack Road home of Newcastle University Business School, which opened for students in September. Property group Downing developed the 100,000 sq ft structure as the first phase of a city centre regeneration scheme on the former Scottish and Newcastle brewery site.
The building – which has already won the Lord Mayor’s Design Award in the “new build” category – was opened by Newcastle University vice chancellor Prof Chris Brink and Lord Burns.
Newcastle University Business School director Prof Ian Clarke said it was important to have a place for the 3,000 students to meet and learn, but that the building would also be home to events for the wider community.
He said: “We’ve been running for several years across three buildings in the community, and this new building brings everything together for the first time.
“Having things like the cafe space and the social spaces for undergraduates, masters level and MBA students makes a tremendous difference in terms of serendipity and bumping into each other.
“The facility is also helping us engage with businesses. We want to have these conduits open. Compared to most business schools I’ve worked in, we do events here really well. But that’s only part of the equation. We need to have events here that say we’re open for business.”