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Aykley Heads - update

The latest proposals for the redevelopment of Aykley Heads as a business park have been approved by Durham County Council's planning committee.

Given the significant scale of the scheme, the local authority is required to refer the application to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government. This means, subject to the minister's approval, work will begin on the first phase of Aykley Heads Business Park in early 2021.


In January 2018, our Cabinet agreed to move our headquarters to allow for the development of a new business park on the Aykley Heads site. Aykley Heads, already home to Atom Bank, Waterstons, the North East of England Chamber of Commerce, Salvus House and many other businesses, has been designated as a strategic employment site.

We are now embarking on the next stage of this transformative project to create a business park. The area, close to Durham City, is capable of attracting thousands of high quality jobs and is worth up to £400 million to the county's economy.

Next Stage

The first phase will see the creation of 3,500 sqm of flexible office space within a three-storey building and 60 car parking spaces to the north of the site. The council is investing £6 million towards the cost of the project, with the remaining £6 million allocated from the Government's Getting Building Fund, which aims to deliver jobs, skills and infrastructure across the country. This will create up to 300 jobs, while acting as a catalyst for the wider masterplan and putting County Durham firmly on the map as a location for office space.

As well as the detailed plans for the first phase, the hybrid application approved by councillors also includes outline plans for developing the remainder of the site, which incorporates land currently occupied by the council's headquarters, County Hall. In January 2018, the council's Cabinet agreed to create a new smaller headquarters at the Sands car park in Durham city to pave the way for the business park. The new headquarters build is now well advanced, with external works largely finished. Once complete, it will provide a base for 1,000 council staff, boosting footfall and trade in Durham city centre, as well as in Crook and Seaham where other employees will be relocated.

The vision for Aykley Heads is to create a new and unique business location for the North East that maximises economic growth in County Durham and delivers jobs in new and growing sectors. It is one of five designated strategic employment sites across the county and part of the council's longstanding mission to bring more and better jobs to the area, bridging the gap in its economic performance with other parts of the region. The scheme's first two phases have the potential to create 4,000 jobs and it is estimated a further 1,800 jobs will be supported in the construction of the park.

When the first two phases are complete, Aykley Heads Business Park will provide up to 38,468sqm of floorspace and be divided into six plots, with each plot providing office buildings and car parking spaces. 'Character zoning' will be used to create distinctiveness, while green spaces and paths will provide a pleasant environment for workers, residents and visitors alike. The site also benefits from close links to the East Coast Main Line and other public transport, as well as cycling routes.

Located to the north of Durham city centre, the site is shown on the map below as an aerial view.

Artist's impressions of how the proposed development including Plot A South and Plot B might look and the proposed building on Plot C:

We have put together additional information:

Please contact us if you have problems accessing the information in our imagery file.

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