Durham on the hunt for development partner
Expressions of interest are sought for a site next to the Gala Theatre, close to the the World Heritage site of Durham Castle and Cathedral.
Durham County Council has appointed Knight Frank to help it find a development partner for the 0.23-acre site.
The plot is next door to the county council-run Gala Theatre on Millennium Place, within the city’s conservation area.
It includes former council offices at 13-17 Claypath, decommissioned in 2013, and 3-5 Millennium Place, which houses currently vacant office space and a ground floor retail unit.
The 13-17 Claypath building was built in 1960 and is scheduled for demolition next month. DCC wants the Millennium Place space to be converted and integrated into the new development fronting Claypath.
DCC wants a developer that can deliver “an exemplar development which achieves high levels of sustainability and complements the site’s unique historic setting.”
The council said that the location would be suitable for a number of uses, which could include but is not limited to, retail, leisure, offices, and hotel – or a mix of any of these uses, subject to detailed planning consent.
Patrick Matheson, partner at Knight Frank in Newcastle, said: “This is a rare proposition to develop a piece of Durham City that has a significant historic fabric and we’re expecting interest to be high.
“It’s a prominent location, well served by amenities, facilities and public transport including the train station which is a short walk away. Its proximity to Durham Market Place and Millennium Place means there is a sizable pedestrian footfall and quick access to key city centre attractions including the stunning Durham Cathedral and Castle.”
Cllr James Rowlandson, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for resources, investment and assets, said: “We see this as a key opportunity for creating employment, economic and leisure benefits for the city and its people, and for County Durham as a whole.
“This is a very important development for the city and the chosen scheme will be required to complement the wider cultural offering, as well as add to the vibrancy of Millennium Place.”
The opportunity is now open for expressions of interest through Knight Frank. Interested parties will be required to sign-up to the North East Procurement Organisation (NEPO) portal in readiness for the tender.