Durham Riverside Renewal

Former NS&I worker marks retirement with trip down memory lane at Milburngate



The team at Milburngate has helped a former employee of National Savings & Investments (NS&I) mark her retirement with a trip down memory lane.

Gill Richardson from Newton Hall, Durham, has spent the last 40 years working for NS&I, 35 of them based at Milburngate House, which used to be located on the site of the Milburngate scheme currently under construction on the riverside in Durham City.

Due to coronavirus restrictions, Gill, who is married with three children, hasn’t been able to celebrate her retirement in the usual fashion with a party. However, she wanted to take her career full circle by returning to the place where it all started in 1980.

She joined NS&I in the Holdings Files Department and progressed through the organisation working in the Death Claims and Complaints departments before reaching her retirement. Along with her colleagues, she left Milburngate House in 2015, prior to its demolition, moving across the River Wear to Freemans Reach to brand new offices, which were also built by the joint venture partners behind Milburngate, Arlington Real Estate and Richardson.

When Milburngate House closed Gill was involved with arranging reunions for ex-NS&I staff that worked in the building and plans to help organise retirement parties when possible for those colleagues who celebrations have also been impacted by the pandemic.

Gill was given a tour of the Milburngate development by Tolent project manager Michael Rutherford and presented with a bouquet of flowers and a bottle of wine to toast her retirement.

She saw up close how Milburngate is taking shape with the construction of the 92-bed Premier Inn hotel, three apartment blocks, which will feature 153 apartments, and the first of the retail and leisure units, which will include the Everyman Cinema.

Gill Richardson said: “The restrictions we have to live with at the moment mean that I can’t celebrate my retirement surrounded by my colleagues of the past 40 years, but I wanted to do something special.

“The Milburngate site is so precious to me as I spent so much of my working life there and it was great to visit the development and I can’t wait to come and visit the cinema and some of the bars and restaurants when it’s finished in 2022.”

Allan Cook, Managing Director of Arlington Real Estate, said: “Gill has enjoyed an impressive career with NS&I and we were delighted to welcome her to Milburngate to help her celebrate this amazing milestone. She is a great example of the wonderful people we have in our city and we all wish her the very best in her retirement.”



For further information contact Jamie Collis 01325 363436

Editors’ Notes:

Durham Riverside Renewal

The development consortium consists of Arlington Real Estate and Richardson.

The project includes the regeneration of Freemans 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’ ‘Best Places to Live’:

“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 Arlington Real Estate

Arlington Real Estate is also delivering another flagship County Durham development, DurhamGate. Located five miles south of Durham City, DurhamGate is on the site of Black & Decker’s former UK headquarters and, at almost 100 acres, it is among the largest regeneration projects in the North East of England

About Richardson

Richardson is a multi-generation family business with over half a century of real estate experience in the UK and overseas. Working across all sectors, they have developed well in excess of seven million square feet of property. Recent projects include Nickel, junction 28 off the M1, a new spec build 261,000 sq ft warehouse, Western 105, Avonmouth, a new spec build 105,500 sq ft warehouse, Freemans Reach, a 110,000 sq ft office development in Durham, Lincoln Gateway, a £28m, 519 bed student accommodation scheme. More recently the family has continued to expand its operations by building an international growth capital portfolio across a range of sectors through a direct and co-investment programme.

About Tolent

Tolent was formed in Tyneside in 1983. Since then we have amassed a huge variety of projects encompassing all types of building and civil engineering work in the public and private sectors.

One of Tolent’s greatest strengths is its versatility which enables us to deliver efficiency and excellence in projects of all sizes, whether they’re repair works valued at £5,000 or a £100 million contract for a flagship development. 

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Gill Richardson (front) at the entrance to the Milburngate site with Tolent Project Manager Michael Rutherford (back)
Gill Richardson (front) at the entrance to the Milburngate site with Tolent Project Manager Michael Rutherford (back)
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