Durham Riverside Renewal

Milburngate’s 4,000 tonne steel frame completed



Phase One of Milburngate is on course for completion in the first quarter of 2022. The latest milestone in the construction of the £120m Arlington Richardson development has been achieved with the completion of its structural steel frame.

Comprising of 40,000 individual pieces of steel weighing a combined 3,800 tonnes, the key structures that will make up Phase One of Milburngate are now complete and visible on Durham City’s riverside.

Following a 54-week build programme, the steel frames of the office building, hotel, boutique cinema, retail and leisure units, as well as the three apartment blocks, are now in place ready for external finishing and interior fitout to take place.

The structural frame, which utilises 20,000 welded shear studs, is strengthened with 5,500 square metres of pre-cast concrete beams and supports over 100 flights of stairs through the development.

More than 30 local operatives successfully delivered the steel work project with minimal delays to programme, despite the need to adhere to strict Covid safety guidelines including social distancing.

Led by Milburngate’s main contractor Tolent, it was delivered in conjunction with County Durham-based constructional steel company Finley Structures and structural engineers Atkins.

Allan Cook, managing director at Arlington said: “Erecting 40,000 pieces of steel in this timeframe in a sensitive riverside location such as Milburngate has its challenges, but to achieve this against the backdrop of a worldwide pandemic is testament to the expertise of our construction team and strength of their supply chain.

“This is an important moment in the development of Milburngate, not only as a construction milestone, but also in terms of attracting new occupiers. They can now visit site and see first-hand the unique position Milburngate occupies on the riverside and experience the fabulous views we have created of the river and World Heritage site peninsular.

“When they visit Milburngate they can now appreciate the important role it will play as a living, working and leisure destination in attracting people to Durham from across the region and beyond. This is certainly paying dividends with potential occupiers as interest in Milburngate has grown significantly in the first part of the year.”

Michael Rutherford, project director for Tolent, said: "The completion of the steel frame programme is a significant milestone for the project and what you can now see on site is the best visual representation so far of just what a fantastic development this is going to be for Durham.

“As the majority of the structures on site are now weather tight, we are progressing with internal fit out works of the apartment blocks, hotel and leisure and retail units. We recently passed 750,000 hours on site and have a workforce over 300 people which we continue to manage with health, safety and wellbeing as our number one priority."



For further information contact Jamie Collis 01325 363436

Editors’ Notes:

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. 

back to Durham Riverside Renewal


Allan Cook at the Milburngate development
Allan Cook at the Milburngate development
Download Large Image
 Milburngate’s steelwork frame
Milburngate’s steelwork frame
Download Large Image


Download the Video