Durham business premises demolished to pave way for new student accommodation complex

Demolition work in Claypath, Durham. Picture by Neil Watson.

Demolition work in Claypath, Durham. Picture by Neil Watson.

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Work is underway to tear down well-known Durham business premises to pave the way for a new student accommodation complex.

Demolition teams are at work this weekend pulling down the Claypath buildings which formerly housed Oldfields restaurant, the old Kwikfit premises, and a former cinema.

Demolition work in Claypath, Durham. Picture by Neil Watson.

Demolition work in Claypath, Durham. Picture by Neil Watson.

Developer Student Castle obtained planning permission in 2015 to build a huge mixed-use development on the site of the "under-used" buildings, including 445-bed student accommodation, retail space and a small cinema and gym.

The demolition work comes at a time of widespread development in Durham city centre, with older buildings being pulled down to pave the way for new developments across the city.

Work began late last year to knock down The Gates shopping centre in Durham, while further demolition work on the other side of Milburngate Bridge by the River Wear to demolish the former passport office and began again in earnest earlier this year.

Planning permission was granted for The Gates site to turn it into The Riverwalk, a £30million redevelopment which will feature restaurants, including the Handmade Burger Co, a six-screen Odeon cinema, accommodation for 253 students and 23 refurbished shops.

Demolition work in Claypath, Durham. Picture by Neil Watson.

Demolition work in Claypath, Durham. Picture by Neil Watson.

It will open in two stages in 2018 and be complete by that summer. The £150million redevelopment of Milburngate House, which was built in the 1960s, will also see a new picture house welcomed to the city, with an Everyman Cinema to open as part of the new complex.

It will be joined by a host of restaurants and bars, apartments and office space, which is expected to create more than 1,000 full-time jobs.