A STATE government approval has cleared the way for the University of Newcastle's Honeysuckle City campus to take shape, with the first building approved to start construction in the proposed new education precinct.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Catherine Cusack said building the proposed structure on the corner of Honeysuckle Drive and Worth Place would inject $23 million into the region's economy and create 785 jobs.
The approval is valid for five years.
"This great tertiary education project will deliver huge local investment, create new local jobs and bring a hive of innovative activity to the Honeysuckle harbor front," Ms Cusack said.
"The new building will be designed by local award-winning firm EJE Architecture and will have a minimum five-star sustainability rating."
The campus plan is co-funded by the state government, Newcastle council and the university.
"The proposed travel mode share and target for 100 per cent of students and staff to use public transport, walking and cycling is ambitious but acceptable subject to measures to meet any parking demand during the initial stages, stage-by-stage monitoring, and the requirement to provide on-site car parking within the final stages if necessary," the assessment report states.
It is designed to house a hub for digital research and investment as well as the School of Creative Industries.
A contract to build that hub was awarded in February.
NSW Planning and Public Spaces Minister ROb Stokes said the building was one of the first fast-tracked through a government acceleration program designed to boost the economy during the coronavirus pandemic.
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"Not only are we creating new jobs and supporting NSW's economic recovery as we deal with the pandemic, we are providing new first-class education facilities where they are needed right across the State," Mr Stokes said.