The ongoing development of a Durham City business park could lead to the creation of 6,000 jobs and boost the local economy by £400 million.
The Aykley Heads business park – just a few minutes’ walk from Durham’s city centre and railway station – is likely to see a development in the northern zone of the site which would bring another 21,000 square feet of business space into being.
Aykley Heads is already home to the North East England Chamber of Commerce, ‘business incubator’ Salvus House, and the innovative, mobile-only banking service Atom Bank. The business park is in mature parkland, with commanding views of the Durham Cathedral and Castle World Heritage Site.
The cabinet of Durham County Council will be asked to approve the Aykley Heads expansion plans next week. The plans stress the flexibility of the development, which would allow for multiple tenancies and the possibility of further expansion.
In total, it is believed that the Aykley Heads site could provide 700,000 square feet of office space.
The leader of Durham County Council, Cllr Simon Henig, said, “Aykley Heads presents us with a game-changing opportunity to create a distinctive business location for the north east, providing high-quality modern office space in a stunning setting – a place that offers fantastic opportunities for our residents and with a unique work and life-style offering.”
“Sites of this calibre are rarely available and there is currently nothing that matches it within the region.”
“We should not underestimate the potential of this location and it’s important that we take the lead in helping to bring it forward.”
The council’s goals for the Aykley Heads site are:
- Maximising the positive economic impact of the site on the whole county
- Creating new jobs in Durham City
- Creating income for the council
- Providing a business location of the highest quality
- Creating a top-quality environment that people are eager to work in
The scheme outlined above is just phase one of the council’s plans for Aykley Heads. Phase two would involve the council relocating from its Aykley Heads offices to Durham City’s waterfront.
The council’s new waterfront headquarters would sit alongside other public sector buildings in the area. The new headquarters would be just a third of the size of the council’s current Aykley Heads building and would therefore result in significant savings in running costs.
When the cabinet meets next week, they will consider a report commissioned about the Aykley Heads site, which can be read here: https://democracy.durham.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=154&MId=10658&Ver=4
Answers to frequently asked questions about the development of Aykley Heads and the relocation of the council’s offices can be accessed here: http://www.durham.gov.uk/article/17905/Aykley-Heads-key-FAQs-for-residents