Durham Riverside Renewal

Construction of new Passport Office in Durham to begin in June

29/05/2014
The developers of Freeman’s Reach have sealed a deal to re-house Her Majesty’s Passport Office from Milburngate House to Phase 2 Freeman’s Reach, part of their Durham Riverside Renewal regeneration project, on the opposite bank of the River Wear. JLL acted for the developer in this transaction. Having selected Freeman’s Reach as the preferred location for its Durham City operation, the granting of planning permission means that everything is now in place to enable the developers to begin construction of the new building in early June. Securing HM Passport Office as the occupier for Phase 2 means that the entire development will now be completed and occupied by 2016. Construction of Phase 2 will run alongside that of Phase 1 for National Savings and Investments (NS&I), which is scheduled to be completed in early 2015. This development illustrates the significant progress that has been made since the former ice rink site was acquired by the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA), as a strategic site for regeneration. In 2012, the HCA and Durham County Council entered into a development agreement with a consortium led by Carillion Developments, Arlington Real Estate and Richardsons Capital LLP who have invested £27 million into the project, which has rapidly breathed new life into the site and ensured a significant number of high value jobs will remain within Durham City. In addition to attracting the 950 Passport Office jobs (812, full time equivalent), the scheme has already secured c. 400 NS&I staff for the city centre, and will improve visitor amenity, particularly for those arriving by coach. The development will incorporate both daytime and evening café/restaurant facilities as well as featuring a new tree lined Riverside Walk, opening up this area to the public for the first time in generations. From the generous public spaces, it will be possible to view an Archimedes Screw driving an electricity generator designed to provide equivalent to around three quarters of the scheme’s energy requirement, continuing a centuries old tradition of harvesting energy from the river Wear at this location, further enhancing the city centre’s visitor experience. Significantly, the relocation of both NS&I and the Passport Office to Freeman’s Reach will provide a unique opportunity to realise the regeneration potential of this important area of the city known as the ‘Northern Quarter’. Ian Forster, Director of Operational Services at Her Majesty's Passport Office said: “We are pleased to be part of this riverside transformation and are confident that Freeman's Reach will provide an excellent base to provide a high quality public service to our customers and a modern and flexible workspace for our staff. “This confirms our commitment to our people and the local economy in Durham where we will continue to work with staff and suppliers to deliver a trusted and secure service which represents good value for our customers.” Allan Cook, Managing Director of Arlington Real Estate, said: “The Freeman’s Reach development is already proving to be a catalyst for the positive transformation of Durham’s Riverside and represents a major step forward in reshaping this part of the city. I am confident that this is just the start of a chain reaction of activity throughout the Northern Quarter which will see this area transformed into a place more in keeping with the calibre of a city like Durham.” Neil McMillan, Director of Carillion Developments, said: “Retaining these two high-profile organisations in the city centre was essential, employing around 1,400 people and with a significant number of visitors each year, they provide an essential contribution to the city centre economy. I am sure that their presence at Freeman’s Reach will significantly add to the vibrancy of this exciting new area of the city.” Jeff Pearey, Head of JLL’s North East business that acted for the developer, said: “This is a major coup for the city of Durham and the lettings to both NS&I and HMPO secures the long term future for this key site.” ENDS CONTACT: Jamie Collis on 01325 363436 NEWS RELEASE: ISSUED ON BEHALF OF DURHAM RIVERSIDE RENEWAL Editor’s Notes: The development consortium for the Freeman’s Reach project is consists of Carillion Developments, part of Carillion plc, and Arlington Real Estate, supported by Richardsons Capital LLP. The project is funded by Legal & General. 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.” www.freemansreach.co.uk 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 2013 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 a position on the 2013 FTSE 350 Climate Performance Leadership Index and the Climate Disclosure Leadership Index, placing it within the top ten UK 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 back to Durham Riverside Renewal

Images

left to right: Steve Gray (NS&I), Carole Soulsby (NS&I), Neil McMillan (Carillion Developments) and Janine Bonnick (HMPO) overlooking the development at Freeman’s Reach.
left to right: Steve Gray (NS&I), Carole Soulsby (NS&I), Neil McMillan (Carillion Developments) and Janine Bonnick (HMPO) overlooking the development at Freeman’s Reach.
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