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Plans for Durham business park submitted

Words: Laura Edgar
Aykley Heads Estate / Ryder Architecture

Plans for a business park on a 15.5-hectare site in County Durham have been submitted to Durham County Council.

The regeneration of the council’s offices at Aykley Heads Estate includes 40,000 square metres of office accommodation and ancillary uses.

The hybrid proposals consist of a detailed application for offices and an outline submission for the scheme’s first two phases.

The county council will be moving from their headquarters in the centre of the site to the heart of Durham to make way for the development.

Delivered by international design practice Ryder Architecture, the second phase of the masterplan involves the demolition of this building, constructed in the 1960s. The firm is also designing the new council offices, which are set to cost less to run.

The overall vision for the Aykley Heads masterplan is to maximise economic growth in County Durham. It is intended to create an estimated 4,000 new jobs within phases one and two in a variety of private sectors such as finance and technology. The council hopes that the scheme will aid economic regeneration by retaining skilled young people and providing career opportunities. 

Cathy Russell, associate at Ryder, said: “Placemaking is at the heart of the masterplan, creating a place where people not only go to work, but want to visit too. This is not an out-of-town business park, but a working parkland for everyone to enjoy. The development is set within an attractive parkland and woodland setting, connected via an improved network of green walking and cycling routes to Durham railway station, bus stops and the park & ride, to facilitate active and sustainable travel and reduce car use.”

Image credit | Ryder Architecture