Crane taller than the Leaning Tower of Pisa joins Durham's skyline as it helps build new hotel, restaurants and cinema on banks of River Wear

A large crane has been brought in to help build the next phase of a multi-million city centre leisure park.

By Fiona Thompson
Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 4:43 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 7:55 pm

The 68-metre-tall lifting tower crane is helping construct the Milburngate development in Durham, with an Everyman cinema, a 92-bed Premier Inn and restaurants including Bar + Block and Miller and Carter to launch where the old HM Passport and National Savings and Investment offices once stood.

The Saez S-65 crane, which is taller than the Leaning Tower of Pisa, will help build the first phase of Milburngate during the next 18 months, with two other cranes to be brought in to help build other parts of the scheme.

Where it stands will be the location for one of the four cinema screens to be run by Everyman, with the building being constructed around its base until close to completion, when it will then be dismantled.

How Durham's Milburngate development will look once it is complete.

Supplied by London Tower Cranes, it is controlled by a person in the cab at the apex of the tower and jib and directed by a banksman at ground level via radio.

With a 10-tonne capacity, it is helping main contractor Tolent, with its key task to set up the concrete core of the site.

The first section of the project will also include office space called One Millburngate, which will attract up to 400 jobs, with 153 built-to-rent apartments to also be let out.

Milburngate is being developed by a joint venture partnership between Arlington Real Estate and Richardson, supported by a £120 million forward funding commitment from LaSalle Investment Management.

Ian Beaumont, project director for Milburngate, and Michael Rutherford, project director for Tolent, in front of the 68-metre tall crane.

Ian Beaumont, project director said: “We have made good progress on the early stages of Milburngate, and this tower crane will facilitate the construction of some of the main elements of phase one.

"It certainly is an impressive sight on the Durham City skyline and highlights the size and scope of Milburngate and its importance to the future social and economic future of the riverside.”

Durham County Council has said it expects to see £3.4 billion of investment go into the county in the next decade, with the aim of creating 30,000 new jobs during the next 15 years.

Millburngate House, the old site of the passport office on the banks of the River Wear in Durham, which has since been demolished to make way for new businesses.