Riverside revamp begins as new cinema, bars and restaurant development to bring more than 1,000 jobs to Durham City

An image of how the new Milburngate development in Durham could look like.

An image of how the new Milburngate development in Durham could look like.

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A building development which could see 1,000 jobs created as tens of million of pounds is invested in new cinema, offices, bars and restaurants has been given the green light.

The team of companies behind the regeneration of Durham’s riverside area are set to start on the next step of its masterplan after Durham County Council granted permission for the scheme to go ahead.

Milburngate will breathe new life into the site and continue the positive transformation of the riverside; it will also aid the social, economic and physical regeneration of Durham City.

Christopher Ives

Milburngate will be a premium, mixed-use development, which will provide the opportunity for around £160million of inward investment and lead to the creation of more than 1,000 full-time jobs and 650 construction jobs.

The redevelopment of the site will start in the spring after the demolition of the existing building, which is already in its first stages.

Featuring an Everyman Cinema, the riverside development will also host a range of premium restaurants and bars.

It will also include high-specification apartments and energy-efficient office space.

The developers Arlington Real Estate, Carillion and Richardson Capital LLP, are also in the process of concluding lease agreements with a number of leisure operators with announcements expected shortly.

Redeveloping the Milburngate House site, which was the former home of HM Passport Office and National Savings & Investments (NS&I), is the second key part of the regeneration of the city’s riverside area.

The consortium has already delivered the regeneration of Freemans Reach on the opposite bank of the River Wear, which created new, sustainable offices for HM Passport Office and NS&I helping to retain more than 1,000 jobs in the city.

Detailed planning permission has been granted for zone one of the Milburngate development, which includes the cinema, commercial and leisure units and 291 new homes.

The project also received outline planning permission for zone two and three.

Christopher Ives, development director at Carillion, said: “Milburngate will breathe new life into the site and continue the positive transformation of the riverside; it will also aid the social, economic and physical regeneration of Durham City.

“The support we have received from the local community and stakeholders has been very welcome and we look forward to delivering a scheme that will add value to Durham and the North East.”

Neil McMillan, managing director of Arlington Real Estate, said: “We are very proud to have the opportunity to regenerate this prominent location at the heart of Durham City. “Milburngate will enhance the vitality and viability of the city, providing those who live, work and visit with more choice.

“The calibre of the operators we are attracting, including Everyman, will add an experience and quality of offer not available in Durham and, indeed, in some instances not available in other parts of the North East.
“We believe this will increase the number of visitors to the city as consumers increasingly look for something different and unique.”