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Durham Innovation District

Aykley Heads is a unique City Centre development site which is set to be the catalyst for the Durham Innovation District.

The new Innovation District, backed by us and Durham University to create a 'triple helix' approach, will give businesses access to talent, research, networks, and resources within a setting that combines high quality infrastructure and amenity with a strong community feel.

The Durham City Incubator is already located at Aykley Heads, supporting university spins outs and high growth potential start-ups, and we have significant experience of developing and growing knowledge intensive clusters at NETPark, one of the UK's premier science parks located nearby in Sedgefield where a third phase of development is due to start on site in summer 2023.

The next development phase of the 62 hectare Aykley Heads will build on this experience to create a nationally significant Innovation District in the heart of Durham city. The first-class site will deliver high quality office space and an innovation ecosystem that allows business to thrive. It will drive a step change in economic growth, providing 4,000 jobs, 38,468sqm commercial floorspace with a hybrid planning consent in place and is in our complete ownership.

The east coast mainline runs through the innovation district, with the Aykley Heads site within a few minutes walk of the railway station. It is served by the Cross Country, Trans-Pennine and East Coast mainlines providing excellent north south, east west connectivity, and accessible by car from the A1 in under 10 minutes.

It is already home to established businesses such as Atom Bank and Waterstons Ltd, and is a short walk to the Milburngate development and the new Durham University Business School, making Aykley Heads a natural home for innovative and knowledge rich businesses.

The Aykley Heads site is ready to be taken to the market, and a delivery partner search will be launched in 2023.


  • Size: 62 hectares innovation district, with 15 hectares of development at Aykley Heads
  • Proposed master plan output: Hybrid planning is in place for 38,468 sq m of development
  • Site owner/partner: Durham County Council
  • Site requirements: Investors
  • Address: Aykley Heads, Durham DH1 5TS

For further information, contact us.

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