Durham Riverside Renewal

National Savings and Investments receive the keys to Freeman's Reach


The developers of Freeman’s Reach in Durham City have officially handed over Phase One of the development to its new tenants, National Savings and Investments (NS&I).

The organisation will transfer its operations and 427-strong workforce from its current base in Milburngate House, on the opposite bank of the River Wear, by the summer.

Construction of the 42,000sq ft. building, which is set across four floors, has been completed on schedule by lead contractor Carillion and its predominantly local supply chain.

The development has excellent environmental credentials, which will enable Freeman’s 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% of the energy requirements of Freeman’s Reach.

Freeman’s Reach is being developed by a consortium led by Carillion, Arlington Real Estate and Richardsons Capital LLP. It is funded by Legal & General.

It is being delivered by a workforce of in excess of 300, which is primarily made up of North East-based contractors and professional service providers.

Phase 2 of the development, a new office for Her Majesty’s Passport Office, is currently under construction and is scheduled for completion in 2016.

Alongside the new offices, the Freeman’s Reach development will offer improved visitor amenities, particularly for those arriving by coach. It will feature daytime and evening café/restaurant facilities as well as featuring a new tree-lined Riverside Walk.

Helen Hawkley, Assistant Director of Commercial Assurance at National Savings and Investments, said: “Completing the handover marks the renewal of NS&I’s association with Durham. The design and open plan layout of Freeman’s Reach will provide our staff with a modern and collaborative working environment and we are really looking forward to moving in.”

Allan Cook, Managing Director of Arlington Real Estate, said: “Handing over phase one Freeman’s Reach to NS&I is a major milestone in realising our vision for the regeneration of Durham’s Northern Quarter. NS&I is a recognised occupier so we are very proud that they have chosen Freeman’s Reach as their new home.”

Neil McMillan, Director of Carillion Developments, said: “Freeman’s Reach is an exemplar development and we are very proud of this first, very important, phase of a wider programme of regeneration on Durham’s Riverside.

“We believe it sets a high standard for the style, quality and environmental credentials of future developments in Durham by complementing the city’s historic architecture and adding value to its social and economic standing.”



CONTACT: Jamie Collis on 01325 363436

Photo caption: NS&I’s Helen Hawkley (front centre) in the new National Savings and Investments office at Freeman’s Reach. She is joined by (left to right) Sean Baylis (NS&I), Allan Cook (Arlington Real Estate), Neil McMillan (Carillion), HAtt Hodges (WSP), Steve Hunter (Carillion), Geoff de Pass (HDP Associates), Keith Lewis (Carillion), Peter St. Julien (Faulknerbrowns) and Ian Beaumont (Project Director, Freeman’s Reach).


Editor’s Notes:

*BREEAM is the world's foremost environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings, with 250,000 buildings with certified BREEAM assessment ratings and over a million registered for assessment since it was first launched in 1990.

About Freeman’s Reach

The development consortium for the Freeman’s Reach project is consists of Carillion and Arlington Real Estate, supported by Richardsons Capital LLP. The project is funded by Legal & General Property.

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.”


About Carillion

Carillion Developments is leading a consortium for the development of Freeman’s Reach, which is made up of North East property company, Arlington Real Estate and Richardsons Capital.

Carillion Developments is part of the UK’s leading support services company, Carillion plc.

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 an ‘A-list’ position on the 2014 FTSE 350 Climate Performance and Disclosure Leadership Index, placing it within the top echelon of global 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.

Legal & General Property:

Legal & General Property (LGP) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), one of Europe’s largest institutional asset managers and a major global investor. LGIM manages approximately £465bn in assets on behalf of over 3,100 clients (30 June 2014) and provides products and solutions spanning all asset classes. LGP is the third largest institutional property fund manager in the UK, managing or co-managing 17 separate funds or vehicles including three segregated mandates with an aggregate asset value of £14.5bn as at 30 October 2014. These funds include:

  • Balanced Funds
  • oLife Fund; Linked Pensions; Linked Life; Managed Fund; Legal & General UK Property Fund; UK Property Income Fund I; UK Property Income Fund II; LPI Income Property Fund and the Hybrid Property Fund
  • Specialist Pooled Funds
  • oThe Leisure Fund Limited Partnership; Industrial Property Investment Fund; Arlington Business Parks Partnership; and the English Cities Fund
  • Single Asset Vehicles
  • oBracknell Regeneration Partnership; Central Saint Giles Partnership.

LGP’s UK-focused fund management platform has built and retained a strong track record of out-performance. Owing to its size, diversity and penetration, it benefits from best-in-class banking and property contacts which, along with its wealth of in-house skill and expertise, have enabled it to continue to attract and secure high quality market opportunities.

Taking a client-centric approach, the business places the highest priority upon integrity and transparency, leveraging the significant resources provided by the wider LGIM platform. Protecting the medium to long term value of its portfolio, as a leader in sustainability, green principles are embedded into every property and investment decision.

Sector specialists cover each sphere of the market and are supported by LGP’s market-leading research capability. In particular, the Company has a major development platform, responsible for delivering community-focused projects ranging from West End landmark buildings to significant town-centre retail and leisure regeneration schemes.

Forming part of the Group’s larger UK housing and infrastructure investment strategy, LGP also continues to participate in a growing range of supply side housing activities, including financing affordable homes, the house building sector, urban regeneration, student accommodation and care homes.  

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