Centre for Life

The Centre for Life is a science village in Newcastle upon Tyne where scientists, clinicians, educationalists and business people work to promote the advancement of the life sciences. The centre is a registered charity, governed by a board of trustees, which receives no public funding.

Centre for Life
Established2000 (2000)
LocationTimes Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, England, NE1 4EP.
Coordinates54.967500°N 1.620556°W / 54.967500; -1.620556
TypeScience museum
Visitors225,000 visitors per year (as of 2010)[1]
Public transit accessRailway, Bus, Metro
Nearest car parkTimes Square Car Park


The Centre was opened by the Queen in May 2000.[2] In March 2009 the centre was the main venue for the UK's first Maker Faire,[3] run as part of the Newcastle ScienceFest. The 2010 Newcastle Maker Faire was held at the Centre for Life and the nearby Discovery Museum. Maker Faire UK returned to the Centre for Life in 2013, at which over 300 hackers, crafters, coders, DIYers and inventors presented their projects alongside installations and drop-in workshops. Maker Faire UK is now an annual event, taking place on the last weekend of April each year at Life Science Centre.[4]

Life Science Centre

The Life Science Centre is a visitor attraction at the International Centre for Life. It has a changing programme of events made up of temporary and permanent exhibitions, a Science Theatre, a planetarium and a 4D Motion Ride.[2]

Exhibitions and activities

The centre provides employment for some 600 people.[2] Partners in the Centre for Life include Newcastle University.[5] The Experiment Zone allows visitors to try out laboratory-style experiments such as DNA extraction[6] and the Brain Zone explores how the human brain works.[7]

Each year a new temporary exhibition is hosted or launched in May, often a major touring exhibition such as Body Worlds Vital in 2014.[8] In the winter months, Times Square is host to an open-air ice rink.[9]

Medical research

Newcastle Fertility Centre was established in 1991 at the RVI, later moving to the Centre for Life and officially opened by Professor Lord Robert Winston on 22 February 2000. As well as treating infertile couples, it carries out research and development into new fertility treatments.[10]

Scientists based at The Centre for Life are the first people in Europe - and only the second in the world - to get a license for stem cell research on human embryos. The license will allow work on new treatments for conditions including diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.[11] In 2005 scientists based at the centre were the first to successfully clone a human embryo.[12]

The NHS Northern Genetics Service is part of the Institute of Genetic Medicine. The main purpose of the Northern Genetics Service is to provide comprehensive and fully integrated clinical and laboratory services to the highest of standards that can help reduce the incidence of illnesses associated with genetic disease.[13]


  1. "Centres of Attention: Centre for Life". Wellcome Trust. 12 August 2010. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  2. "2000:centre for life". Evening Chronicle. 23 May 2000. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  3. "2009 Maker Faire UK". O'Reilly Media. 2009. Archived from the original on 1 March 2009. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
  4. "Maker Faire UK". Archived from the original on 11 May 2018. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  5. "Centre Finds Life Is Great". The Evening Chronicle. 23 May 2001. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  6. "Experiment Zone". Centre for Life. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  7. "Brain Zone". Centre for Life. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  8. Mercedes Broadbent (23 March 2014). "Body Worlds at the Centre for Life in Newcastle: Your guide to the Body Worlds event in May". Chronicle Live. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  9. "Life Science Centre". Newcastle Gateshead. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  10. "Newcastle Fertility Centre at Life". Archived from the original on 11 February 2008. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
  11. "Green light for stem cell research". Newcastle University. 12 August 2004. Archived from the original on 11 December 2004. Retrieved 4 December 2008.
  12. Rachael Oakden. "Take the kids to … Life Science Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne | Travel". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  13. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 April 2016. Retrieved 2016-04-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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