The Science Central borehole was drilled at the site of the former Scottish and Newcastle Brewery in central Newcastle upon Tyne as part of the redevelopment of the site. It was drilled in 2011 to a depth of 1821 m to intercept a splay off the 90 Fathom Fault, which is a deep seated fault extending from the North Pennines to the east coast at Cullercoats Bay. The borehole was funded jointly by the Science City Partners, the DECC Geothermal Challenge (Phase 2) and BGS.
The borehole was drilled to investigate the possibilty of finding groundwater at temperatures of around 70°>C at such depths, to understand the connectivity of splays off the main 90 Fathom Fault with the Weardale Granite in the North Pennines and to ascertain the permeability of the sandstones found at depth. Temperatures of 73°C were encountered during testing following well completion, implying a geothermal gradient of 39°C km-1.
Ongoing work will include further research and well monitoring to determine whether in future this borehole could service the redeveloped Science Central site.