Despite Britain’s newest botanic garden, Middleton, failing to prosper (see p4) Newcastle University has fearlessly launched a £25 million plan to build its own.
The project will bring together the university’s little-seen research labs and collections of succulents and cacti. The proposed “unique green bridge” by Wilkinson Eyre Architects, designers of the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, is a 50m-long glasshouse, which spans the A167. The 12m-high structure will have cooler arid zones at either end, a humid zone in the middle and one hectare of landscaped garden with research and educational facilities at either side of the road.
A university representative said: “The centrepiece of the gardens is a unique hybrid of a landscaped bridge with a glazed structure.”
The university wants to raise £40 million to turn the campus area into a cultural quarter. An £18 million Heritage Lottery Fund application is currently under consideration. The garden is seen as stage two of the planned development.
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