Durham Riverside Renewal

Business community celebrate the opening of Wearside House at Freeman's Reach


The developers of Freeman’s Reach have officially opened Wearside House, the first phase of the significant regeneration project in the centre of Durham City.

Wearside House is the new North East home of National Savings and Investments (NS&I) and its 400-strong workforce will shortly begin to transfer to the 42,000 sq. ft. building from their current home across the River Wear in Milburngate House.

Freeman’s Reach is being developed by the Carillion Arlington Richardson Development Partnership and is funded by Legal & General.

The development consortium welcomed more than 100 invited guests from the North East business community, along with representatives from Durham County Council and NS&I, to the celebration event.

  • Guests heard from the leader of Durham County Council, Cllr Simon Henig who spoke about Freeman’s Reach’s role in supporting the council’s vision to establish a thriving economy in County Durham, create many thousands of new jobs, improve opportunities for the residents of the County and firmly establish Durham as a major economic centre within the region.

Carillion Development Director, Neil McMillan and Arlington Real Estate Managing Director Allan Cook also addressed the audience highlighting the pivotal role Freeman’s Reach is playing in the wider regeneration of Durham’s Riverside.

The relocation of NS&I to Wearside House, followed by Her Majesty’s Passport Office in 2016 into Phase 2 of Freeman’s Reach in 2016, will create the once in a lifetime opportunity to regenerate the site currently occupied by Milburngate House.

The developers discussed their initial ideas for the development of Milburngate House at the event, which are currently being formulated to maximise the unique benefits of the seven acre site.

Neil McMillan, Development Director of Carillion Developments, said: “We have a tremendous sense of pride in the completion and official opening of Wearside House. It is a catalyst for a long-term, sustainable future for Durham’s Riverside, which not only complements, but enhances the City’s ambitions to deliver an attractive environment for inward investment and growth.”

Allan Cook, Managing Director of Arlington Real Estate, said: “The opening of Wearside House is the beginning of a new chapter in a very important relationship between NS&I and Durham City and is an important first milestone in our vision to regenerate the riverside, not only at Freeman’s Reach but across the river at Milburngate House. This is a very exciting time for Durham and we are delighted to be playing such an important part in helping to shape its future.”

Helen Hawkley, Assistant Director of Commercial Assurance at National Savings and Investments, said: “The opening of NS&I’s new home in Durham marks the renewal of our association with the city. Wearside House will provide our staff with a modern and collaborative working environment and we are really looking forward to moving in.”



CONTACT: Jamie Collis on 01325 363436

Photo caption: left to right – Neil McMillan, Development Director, Carillion Developments, Jane Platt, Chief Executive of National Savings and Investments, Cllr Simon Henig, leader of Durham County Council and Allan Cook, Managing Director of Arlington Real Estate outside Wearside House at Freeman’s Reach

Editor’s Notes:

*BREEAM is the world's foremost environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings, with 250,000 buildings with certified BREEAM assessment ratings and over a million registered for assessment since it was first launched in 1990.

About Freeman’s Reach

The development consortium for the Freeman’s Reach project is consists of Carillion and Arlington Real Estate, supported by Richardsons Capital LLP. The project is funded by Legal & General Property.

The development project leader is Allan Cook, Managing Director of Arlington Real Estate. Allan is a North East based regeneration specialist and property developer.

Arlington Real Estate and Carillion also work in partnership on another flagship County Durham development, DurhamGate. Located five miles south of Durham City, DurhamGate is on the site of Black & Decker former UK headquarters and, at 60 acres, is the largest regeneration project in the North East.

According to the Sunday Times 2014 ‘Best Places to Live’ listing:

“Durham is a lovely place to live. Beneath its glorious cathedral, you’ll find pretty cobbled streets stuffed with little independent shops and great watering holes, a beautiful river that carves its way through dramatic walls of rock and greenery, and some attractive house stock – along with a thriving buy-to-let market, thanks to all those students. One of the nicest places to live is South Street, which looks directly onto the cathedral and castle, and which inspired Sir Walter Scott. Many of its terraced houses are grade II listed; prices range from £400,000 to more than £1m.”


About Carillion

Carillion is a leading integrated support services company with a substantial portfolio of Public Private Partnership projects and extensive construction capabilities. The Group had annual revenue in 2014 of some £4.1 billion, employs around 40,000 people and operates across the UK, in the Middle East and Canada.

Carillion is a member of the FTSE4Good Index and in 2013 the Group was awarded Platinum Big Tick status in Business in the Community’s Corporate Responsibility Index. It has also achieved an ‘A-list’ position on the 2014 FTSE 350 Climate Performance and Disclosure Leadership Index, placing it within the top echelon of global companies with regard to actions to mitigate climate change.

The Group has four business segments:

Support services – this includes facilities management, facilities services, energy services, utility services, road maintenance, rail services and consultancy businesses in the UK, Canada and the Middle East.

Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects - this includes investing activities in PPP projects for Government buildings and infrastructure, mainly in the Defence, Health, Education, Transport and Secure accommodation sectors.

Middle East construction services - this includes building and civil engineering activities in the Middle East.

Construction services(excluding the Middle East) - this includes building, civil engineering and developments activities in the UK and construction activities in Canada.

This and other Carillion news releases can be found at www.carillionplc.com

Legal & General Property:

Legal & General Property (LGP) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), one of Europe’s largest institutional asset managers and a major global investor. LGIM manages approximately £465bn in assets on behalf of over 3,100 clients (30 June 2014) and provides products and solutions spanning all asset classes. LGP is the third largest institutional property fund manager in the UK, managing or co-managing 17 separate funds or vehicles including three segregated mandates with an aggregate asset value of £14.5bn as at 30 October 2014. These funds include:

  • Balanced Funds
  • oLife Fund; Linked Pensions; Linked Life; Managed Fund; Legal & General UK Property Fund; UK Property Income Fund I; UK Property Income Fund II; LPI Income Property Fund and the Hybrid Property Fund
  • Specialist Pooled Funds
  • oThe Leisure Fund Limited Partnership; Industrial Property Investment Fund; Arlington Business Parks Partnership; and the English Cities Fund
  • Single Asset Vehicles
  • oBracknell Regeneration Partnership; Central Saint Giles Partnership.

LGP’s UK-focused fund management platform has built and retained a strong track record of out-performance. Owing to its size, diversity and penetration, it benefits from best-in-class banking and property contacts which, along with its wealth of in-house skill and expertise, have enabled it to continue to attract and secure high quality market opportunities.

Taking a client-centric approach, the business places the highest priority upon integrity and transparency, leveraging the significant resources provided by the wider LGIM platform. Protecting the medium to long term value of its portfolio, as a leader in sustainability, green principles are embedded into every property and investment decision.

Sector specialists cover each sphere of the market and are supported by LGP’s market-leading research capability. In particular, the Company has a major development platform, responsible for delivering community-focused projects ranging from West End landmark buildings to significant town-centre retail and leisure regeneration schemes.

Forming part of the Group’s larger UK housing and infrastructure investment strategy, LGP also continues to participate in a growing range of supply side housing activities, including financing affordable homes, the house building sector, urban regeneration, student accommodation and care homes.  

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