THE regeneration of Durham’s former passport office has reached a significant milestone with the removal of the site’s largest tower crane.

At over 53m tall, the Saex S-65 crane is three times taller than the Angel of the North and has been an impressive sight on the Durham City skyline since its installation in February 2020.

The crane has played a pivotal role in the construction phase supporting the distribution of materials across the six-acre site in, what the project management team have described as, a game of logistical chess.

The removal operation spanned a five-day period to remove the crane requiring careful coordination with Met Office weather warnings with Storm Dudley and Eunice threatening to wreak havoc across the region.

Due for completion in second quarter 2022, Milburngate Phase 1 will provide 153 built-to-rent apartments, boutique cinema, a 93-bed flagship Premier Inn Hotel along with premium bars and restaurants such as Bar + Block and 53,701sq ft. of much-needed Grade A office space within One Milburngate, which will help attract up to 400 jobs to the centre of Durham City.

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Construction works are being managed by Gateshead-based contractor Tolent who have been responsible for some of the region’s most famous landmarks.

Michael Rutherford, contracts manager for Tolent, said: “Following the removal of the tower crane, the area has taken a significant step forward and is beginning to transform from a construction site into the landmark destination that it will soon become.

"Whilst externally the site is well developed with all blocks now at full height and external facades almost complete; internal works are progressing at pace to ensure all buildings are ready for occupants and the wider public in.

The Northern Echo:

“The finished product will be a celebration of the skills and experience we have in the region and a demonstration of the ability of local companies to deliver large regeneration projects without reliance on national corporations. The outcome provides a direct benefit to the region, driving local investment and social value through all tiers of the supply chain.”

Milburngate is being developed by a joint venture partnership between Arlington Real Estate and Richardson, supported by a £120 million forward funding commitment from LaSalle Investment Management.

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Allan Cook, Managing Director of Arlington Real Estate, said: “The removal of the tower crane brings the transformation of Durham’s riverside a step closer. Phase 1 of Milburngate will enhance Durham’s economic, social and cultural ambitions helping to attract premium occupiers, businesses, new residents and visitors to our area.

The Northern Echo:

"This is an exciting time as we near the completion of this landmark destination and embark on the development of phase 2, which will bring more value to investment to Durham.”


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