Durham Riverside Renewal

Milburngate takes a step in the right direction with 80 tonne staircase installation



Milburngate has taken a step towards enhancing pedestrian connectivity in Durham with the installation of a brand-new suspended staircase, which will create a direct route into the development and the riverside from Durham railway station.

Located in the north west corner of Milburngate and accessed directly from Framwellgate Peth, the new steps sit on top of a raised steel frame, which was installed following a three-month substructure programme including excavation, in-situ concrete structures and piles.

Installed over two days, around 80 tonnes of pre-cast concrete was carefully positioned into place using a specialist mobile crane designed to operate in a confined space and able to manoeuvre the 14 individual pieces up to their final resting place some 54m from theground, negotiating obstacles including the trees on the bank at the rear of Milburngate on their way.

This new staircase will provide seamless pedestrian access to Milburngate, connecting the development with the railway station while offering uninterrupted views across the River Wear towards the spire of St Nic’s church.

As they arrive in the public square at the heart of Milburngate, office occupiers, residents and visitors will have an outstanding view of the church and the World Heritage site’s Durham Cathedral and Castle.

Over the coming months, the staircase will be completed with a mix of soft and hard landscaping, which will be finished with the installation of illuminated handrails.

Allan Cook, Managing Director of Arlington Real Estate, which is developing Milburngate in a joint venture with Richardson, said: “This staircase has always been a fundamental part of the design of Milburngate, connecting the railway station to the heart of the city.

“We always envisioned a view of St. Nic’s Spire framed on each side by the development, which as you descend opens up stunning views of the cathedral and castle; standing at the top of the steps we can nowsee the first part of that vision coming to life.”

Paul Salkeld, Project Manager from main contractor Tolent, said: “This is another important milestone for the scheme as Milburngate continues to take shape. It was a challenge to complete the install in such a tight area, which included the treeline either side of the staircase location, but our groundworker, specialist lifting team, together with the Tolent project team, expertly handled the project and ensured a successful completion.”



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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Allan Cook, left, and Paul Salkeld, right, at the top of the new staircase as one of the sets of concrete steps are lowered into place
Allan Cook, left, and Paul Salkeld, right, at the top of the new staircase as one of the sets of concrete steps are lowered into place
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