Durham Riverside Renewal

Construction of Freemans Reach Phase Two completed creating new HM Passport Office in Durham City


Construction of phase two of Freemans Reach has been completed, paving the way for the development to become the new home of Her Majesty’s Passport Office in Durham City.

Representatives from HM Passport Office joined members of the Carillion Arlington Richardsons Development Partnership, the consortium behind the regeneration of Durham’s Riverside, to celebrate the building handover.

Following an internal fit out programme, HM Passport Office’s 1100 strong workforce, currently based on the opposite side of the River Wear in Milburngate House, will transfer across to the contemporary and energy-efficient 68,000 sq. ft. building in the coming months.

The development has excellent environmental credentials, which enabled Freemans Reach to be awarded an ‘A+’ Rated Energy Performance Certificate and BREEAM* Excellent status. It has also become the first UK city centre development to incorporate a fully-operational hydro-power generator.

Utilising energy from the River Wear, an Archimedean screw drives a generator, which feeds the National Grid with power that is the equivalent of 75 percent of the energy requirements of Freeman’s Reach.

Alongside the new offices, Freemans Reach will offer improved visitor amenities, particularly for those arriving by coach. It will feature daytime and evening café/restaurant facilities and has a new tree-lined Riverside Walk.

HM Passport Office’s relocation to Freemans Reach, which follows National Savings and Investments move from Milburngate House to Phase One, in May 2015, enables the next significant stage in the regeneration of Durham’s Riverside.

A planning application will be submitted shortly to transform the Milburngate House site into a premium development featuring a quality mix of homes, offices, bars, restaurants and a boutique cinema.

Neil McMillan, Development Director at Carillion, said: “The completion of Phase 2 of Freemans Reach is a fundamental milestone in the regeneration of Durham City’s Riverside. We are very proud to hand over the building, on time, to HM Passport Office and help maintain this essential public service’s long association with Durham City.

“Freemans Reach is part of a wider strategy to improve Durham’s Riverside and have the plans in place, subject to receiving planning consent, to embark on the regeneration of Milburngate creating a premium development that will add value to the city and become a destination of regional significance.”

Allan Cook, Managing Director of Arlington Real Estate, added: “This is another significant milestone in the redevelopment of Durham City’s Riverside. Our team have worked extremely hard to ensure Freemans Reach became the location of choice for both HM Passport Office and National Savings and Investment as it was essential for Durham that we retained over 1,000 high quality jobs in the city.

“The quality and sustainability of Freemans Reach also demonstrates our ambitions for Durham’s Riverside, which will continue with the development of Milburngate on the opposite bank of the river.”

Janine Bonnick, North East Area Operations Manager for HM Passport Office, said: “Freemans Reach is a great asset, which will provide our team with a great working environment and open space, conducive to collaboration. What makes the development even more impressive, are its green credentials that have created a sustainable and future-proof building. The collaboration between HM Passport Office and the developers has been very successful and played a significant part in the building being completed on time.”



CONTACT: Jamie Collis on 01325 363436

Editor’s Notes:

Durham Riverside Renewal

The development consortium consists of Carillion, Arlington Real Estate and Richardsons Capital LLP.

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.

The project includes the regeneration of Freeman’s Reach and the redevelopment of Milburngate House, which are on adjacent banks of the River Wear in the heart of Durham City.

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 46,000 people and operates across the UK, in the Middle East and Canada.

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

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Neil McMillan, Development Director, Carillion (left) and Janine Bonnick, North East Area Operations Manager for HM Passport Office (right), in front of the HM Passport Office in Durham City
Neil McMillan, Development Director, Carillion (left) and Janine Bonnick, North East Area Operations Manager for HM Passport Office (right), in front of the HM Passport Office in Durham City
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