CGI of how the development could look (Image: Durham County Council)
Ambitious plans which aim to attract more than 6,000 new private sector jobs and a £400m economic boost to a Durham City business park will go ahead.
Following endorsement by Durham County Council, the masterplan for Aykley Heads - home to Atom Bank and Salvus House - progress and a delivery model will follow later this year. The Aykley Heads redevelopment is supported by a number of regional organisations including the North East LEP, North East England Chamber and Durham University.
More than 1,300 people are already employed across the site by 40 companies, and the masterplan will aim to create an additional 6,000 jobs and boost the local economy by £400m
The redevelopment of Aykley Heads will also see Durham County Council move to a new HQ and the council’s Cabinet members have made a decision on where the organisation’s new head office will be built.
Following a thorough procurement process the preferred bid is on the council’s site at The Sands car park, opposite Freeman’s Quay leisure centre.
Terry Collins, Chief Executive of Durham County Council, said: "We have been delighted with the response from the four bidders however we feel the preferred proposal offers the best overall value.
"Separately we have also agreed that we will re provide The Sands parking spaces and that we will also facilitate additional parking nearby.
"There are a number of high quality developments currently underway along the city's waterside and we want to make sure we complement those."
The new HQ will provide much smaller and fit for purpose civic facilities in a city centre location with greatly reduced running costs and which can support the organisation's ambitious transformation programme. Investment in, and the expansion of, its centres at Spennymoor, Seaham, Crook and Meadowfield will also continue.
The next stage for the new HQ will be to submit a planning application early in the summer, this will include the usual consultation process.
Cllr Simon Henig, council leader said: "Throughout this process we remain committed to working with all the partners and stakeholders involved. We want to ensure Durham City's waterfront developments complement each other and to support the delivery of an even more vibrant economy, while providing a unique business location at Aykley Heads attracting several thousand additional jobs."