THE developers of a major city centre project have secured a £120m funding commitment, which will allow work to start.

Milburngate, in Durham, was granted planning permission in December and contractors are expected to be announced shortly.

LaSalle Investment Management has committed the £120m in forward-funding, which will allow the first phase – which covers 70 per cent of the six acre site – to start.

The development is a joint venture between Durham-based property business Arlington Real Estate and the Richardson family and phase one of the scheme is expected to be completed in 2021.

Ben Holmes, on behalf of the Richardson family, said: “This is one of the biggest investment deals in the North East of England in the last ten years. It will have a significant positive impact on Durham City and the wider region and demonstrates investor appetite for this type of project.

“Securing this funding from LaSalle, which will ensure the delivery of the first phase of this ambitious project, also demonstrates the confidence this respected financial institution has in the North-East and the benefits of regenerating this unique part of this historic city.”

Allan Cook, managing director of Arlington Real Estate, said: “We are really pleased to have secured the funding for phase one with LaSalle, which enables us to now move forward with the first construction phase.

“It is a testament to both the vision of the team and quality of the scheme that we have secured LaSalle as our funding partner.”

Robin James, head of long income transactions at LaSalle Investment Management, said: “This mixed-use commercial and residential development will create job opportunities in Durham and is an excellent example of where our client’s capital can be used to deliver major city centre regeneration schemes.

“We will continue to invest in such projects and have significant funds to deploy in other assets offering long-term, inflation-linked income streams.”