Royal reminder is emblematic of Durham regeneration

Carillions Steve Hunter (left) and Neil Maughan from HM Passport Office with the rescued emblem
Carillions Steve Hunter (left) and Neil Maughan from HM Passport Office with the rescued emblem
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Developers have served up a right Royal reminder of one of Durham's best-known buildings.

A Royal emblem, which adorned the outside of Milburngate House for nearly 50 years, has been recovered and presented to Her Majesty’s Passport Office

The metre-high aluminium emblem, which was added to the office block to mark its completion in 1968, was rescued by lead contractor Carillion during the building’s demolition, ahead of the creation of a new mixed-use development on the site in Durham City

Having restored the emblem, while retaining the patina attained over the past 50 years, and mounting it on a glass frame, the developers of Milburngate presented it to the building’s former tenant, HM Passport Office, to be displayed at the organisation’s new offices at Freemans Reach.

The development of the site, which will create a new £150million living, working and leisure destination, Milburngate, is part of a significant regeneration of Durham’s riverside.

The consortium has already successfully delivered the regeneration of Freemans Reach on the opposite bank of the River Wear, which created new, sustainable offices for HM Passport Office and National Savings and Investments (NS&I) helping to retain more than 1,000 jobs in the city. It was also the catalyst for the regeneration of the Milburngate House site.

Milburngate will feature an Everyman Cinema and a range of premium restaurants and bars including a Pitcher and Piano. The development will also include high-specification apartments and high-quality, energy-efficient office space.

Steve Hunter, Project Director at Carillion Building, said: "The royal emblem reflects HM Passport Office’s long association with Durham City and we’re delighted to have successfully recovered it so it can be displayed and enjoyed by future generations of HM Passport employees and visitors."

Neil Maughan, from HM Passport Office, said: "We’re very grateful to Carillion and the Milburngate developers for saving and restoring the emblem. It is an important part of our heritage, which will take pride of place in our new home at Freemans Reach."