Atom Bank has long used the building as its HQ. Credit: via Edgy PR

Council buys Rivergreen for £11m

Newcastle-based Adderstone Group has completed the sale of the 40,000 sq ft office building at Aykley Heads, a key part of plans for the Durham Innovation District.

A former RICS UK Sustainable Building of the Year, the Rivergreen centre, the long-term HQ of Atom Bank, features strong environmental credentials, including a biofuel heating system and rainwater harvesting via a green sedum roof – all built around a cruciform shape.

The deal paves the way for hundreds of council employees to relocate from the old county hall site to the Rivergreen Centre as part of the local authority’s plans for a more sustainable workplace environment, freeing up the county hall site to become the fulcrum of the intended Durham Innovation District.

Along with space at Rivergreen, Durham County Council will occupy space in a new-build at the site.

With Avison Young advising, the search for a development partner to deliver the innovation district, essentially a knowledge-based commercial cluster that will also include the new Durham Business School and Milburngate development, has now been launched.

Adderstone founder Ian Baggett said: “This deal is important to the council because it enables the demolition of the old county hall, allowing work to commence on the Durham Innovation District at Aykley Heads.”

Upwards of 4,000 jobs could be created when the development eventually opens, delivering in excess of 400,000 sq ft. of commercial floor space and an anticipated multi-million-pound boost to the local economy.

Baggett, who himself launched what is now a property group holding 2m sq ft of commercial floorspace while a Durham student, added: “We feel privileged to have played a role in Atom Bank’s phenomenal success to date.

“This deal delivers a new civic home for the county council and paves the way for development works to start at the Durham Innovation District, which will hopefully allow more businesses like Adderstone Group to spin out of one of the best universities in the country.”

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