The developers of Milburngate, the mixed-use development, have secured a £120 million forward-funding commitment from LaSalle Investment Management, which will enable the delivery of the first phase of the Durham City Centre project.

In December 2018, detailed planning permission was granted for Phase One, which covers 70 percent of the entire six-acre mixed-use development. The developers are in the final stages of reviewing shortlisted construction tenders and will select their construction partner in the coming weeks. Completion of the first phase is targeted for early 2021.

Tenants already secured for Phase One include nationally-recognised leisure operators including boutique cinema company Everyman, restaurant brands Marston’s Pitcher & Piano, Bar + Block, Miller and Carter and a 92-bed flagship Premier Inn hotel.

Also included in Phase One will be 5,000 square metres speculative office building, creating capacity for more than 400 new jobs, alongside 153 built-to-rent apartments, supporting Durham’s requirement to provide high-quality city centre work and living space.

Milburngate is being delivered in joint venture by Durham-based property business Arlington Real Estate and the Richardson family, who together have already successfully delivered a number of strategically-important regeneration projects across the region, including Freemans Reach in Durham City centre.

Ben Holmes, on behalf of the Richardson family, said: “This is one of the biggest investment deals in the North East of England in the last ten years. It will have a significant positive impact on Durham City and the wider region and demonstrates investor appetite for this type of project.

“Securing this funding from LaSalle, which will ensure the delivery of the first phase of this ambitious project, also demonstrates the confidence this respected financial institution has in the North East and the benefits of regenerating this unique part of this historic city.”

Allan Cook, Managing Director of Arlington Real Estate, said: “We are really pleased to have secured the funding for Phase One with LaSalle, which enables us to now move forward with the first construction phase. It is a testament to both the vision of the team and quality of the scheme that we have secured LaSalle as our funding partner and I’m sure delivery of Phase One will set a new benchmark not only for Durham City, but also the region.”

Robin James, Head of Long Income Transactions at LaSalle Investment Management, said: “We are delighted to have entered into this long-term partnership with Arlington Real Estate and the Richardson family. This mixed-use commercial and residential development will create job opportunities in Durham and is an excellent example of where our client’s capital can be used to deliver major city centre regeneration schemes. We will continue to invest in such projects and have significant funds to deploy in other assets offering long-term, inflation-linked income streams.”