Durham Riverside Renewal

North East contractor appointed for demolition of Milburngate House


The development consortium leading the regeneration of Durham City’s Riverside has appointed specialist contractor Thompsons of Prudhoe to undertake the demolition of the old Milburngate House building.

A national business based in Northumberland, Thompsons will deliver the 12-month demolition programme in partnership with Carillion Construction Ltd, the lead contractor on the Milburngate regeneration project, supporting around 70 local jobs.

Thompsons has more than 40 years’ experience in professional demolition services operating across the UK. A member of the National Federation of Demolition Contractors (NFDC) since 1981, the company’s Managing Director, John Thompson Jnr, is a past Chairman of the body’s North East Region and is Regional Representative of the specialist trade body at its national level.

Thompsons won the coveted Construction News Demolition Specialist of the Year Award in 2014, and was shortlisted again in 2015 and 2016.

Employing 250 people, the company has a long association with Durham, including delivering the earthworks and site preparation for the Radission Blu Hotel, adjacent to Milburngate.

Following the completion of the internal strip out of the disused Milburngate House building, which is now in progress, Thompsons will then embark on the external demolition later this year.

As a highly-experienced contractor in the sector, Thompsons will employ a range of methods to minimise the impact of the process, which will include the crushing and re-use of building materials in the site’s future development.

Demolition of the former Passport Office building, which has reached the end of its useful life and is highly energy inefficient, will enable the £150 million regeneration of the site on Framwelgate Waterside.

The development consortium, consisting of Carillion, Arlington Real Estate and Richardsons Capital LLP, has submitted a planning application to Durham County Council to create a premium, mixed-use development.

Featuring an Everyman Cinema as the cornerstone of its leisure offering, the riverside development will also host a range of premium restaurants and bars. Milburngate will also include high-specification apartments and high-quality, energy-efficient office space.

Helen Hillary, Director at Thompsons of Prudhoe, said: “We are proud to have been appointed to such a prestigious project in the North East. The developers have a fantastic vision to transform Durham’s Riverside, which can be realised once this building has been removed. We will utilise all of our experience and expertise to deliver a sustainable and environmentally-aware project taking into the consideration the site’s unique location.”

Ian Beaumont, Milburngate Project Manager, said: “We are keen, whenever possible to engage a local supply chain for our projects and Thompsons of Prudhoe is a highly-respected and award-winning North East contractor.

“The demolition is the first step in a significant regeneration project that will dramatically enhance Durham’s Riverside. The existing building has reached the end of its useful life, is very energy inefficient and is not suitable for conversion to other uses that will offer maximum benefit to Durham City.”



For further information contact Jamie Collis 01325 363436

Editor’s Notes:

Durham Riverside Renewal

The development consortium consists of Carillion, Arlington Real Estate and Richardsons Capital LLP.

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.

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 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 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 2014 of some £4.1 billion, employs around 46,000 people and operates across the UK, in the Middle East and Canada.

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

About Richardsons Capital

Richardsons Capital is a private, family-owned and operated property business formed over sixty years ago and headquartered in the West Midlands. The company is primarily focused on property development and investment in the UK and overseas. Typically working in joint venture, the business has a long history of successful partnerships, having developed over 6 million sq ft of real estate across all sectors.

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Left to right, Ian Beaumont (Milburngate Project Manager), Steve Hunter (Project Director, Carillion Construction Ltd) and Helen Hillary (Director, Thompsons of Prudhoe) in front of Milburngate House
Left to right, Ian Beaumont (Milburngate Project Manager), Steve Hunter (Project Director, Carillion Construction Ltd) and Helen Hillary (Director, Thompsons of Prudhoe) in front of Milburngate House
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