All change at Durham

All change at Durham

Major regeneration, and a redevelopment maybe, promise transformation within Durham City’s historic centre.

A new look could emerge through a planning application that proposes a £150m regeneration of Milburngate. Mixed-used development to include 400 new homes on the city’s riverside is the ambition of a consortium that comprises Carillion, Arlington Real Estate and Richardsons Capital.

Milburngate will have the first Everyman boutique cinema in the North East. Most apartments envisaged would be for long-term rental, but some for private sale too. There would also be 150,000sq ft of offices in sustainable and energy efficient design, complementing Freemans Reach development on the opposite bank of the River Wear, which the consortium also recently completed.

Neil McMillan, development director at Carillion, reports strong public support. Allan Cook, managing director of Arlington Real Estate, talks of Durham’s Northern Quarter becoming a world class location, befitting the city’s status as a World Heritage City Centre. The major opportunity for redevelopment, at Old Elvet, includes the Grade II Listed former Three Tuns Hotel and adjoining retail properties now on the market. Knight Frank in Newcastle invites unconditional offers on Durham University’s behalf.

Matthew Wright, estates surveyor for Durham University, says developing the university’s estate is priority, and disposal of the Three Tuns will free investment for sites elsewhere in and around the city. The Three Tuns, acquired in 2012 to house post-graduate students, could possibly revert to a hotel, with new commercial and retail options also.

James Platts, Knight Frank partner and development adviser to the university, says sympathetic development could much improve a central part of the city. He explains: “There has been significant development at the heart of the city already - such as Prince Bishops and the theatre area. Major redevelopments are also planned for Milburngate and The Gates on the city’s west side. “Now, with Hotel Indigo planning to open in nearby Old Elvet and the Three Tuns site available on New Elvet, opportunity exists to improve the city fabric and balance the elements across the city centre.”