• FT sells site for nearly £7.5m to university
  • Will be redeveloped to include research centre, elderly care facilities, housing and business

A foundation trust has sold one of its former hospital sites to the local university, which plans to use it for a centre of research into elderly care, along with housing and business units.

Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospitals Foundation Trust sold the former General Hospital site in Newcastle’s west end to Newcastle University for almost £7.5m.

The university is planning to expand the existing centre for ageing and vitality on the site as part of a mixed-use development, incorporating elderly care, research facilities, and a residential zone for housing and business development.

There will be a dementia care village, care home, intermediate care facility and assisted living homes for older people.

The Westgate Walk-in-Centre, which is on the site, will remain there and is outside the redevelopment. Other services on site, including a diabetes centre, will remain for up to three years.

Northumberland, Tyne and Wear FT will also continue to provide mental health inpatient facilities on the site, while continuing to develop an adult acute mental health facility in Gosforth. Options for the future of older people’s wards are being considered.

The general hospital was built in 1870 and was the main hospital for the city. Most acute services were moved to the Royal Victoria Infirmary and the Freeman Hospital between 2008 and 2010.

The FT’s chief executive Dame Jackie Daniel said: “This is an iconic site which has been at the heart of Newcastle’s healthcare for decades.

“This ensures that local people will be among the first to benefit from world class health research, developments and innovations within the NHS and on their doorstep. It further strengthens Newcastle’s international status as a leader in healthcare for older people, which is great news for the city.”

The university’s vice chancellor Chris Day said: “This is an exciting and ambitious vision which looks to the next 10 to 15 years to ensure that we are a world-leading hot bed of innovation and creative research in the field of ageing.”