One of the region’s largest and most sophisticated civil engineering feats has completed on Durham’s Riverside as progress continues on the £120m Milburngate development.

Measuring 236 metres – the equivalent of nearly three football pitches – the construction of the three-storey retaining wall has taken 10 months to complete.   Using approximately 20,000m3 of concrete, it required the use of one of the largest piling rig in the UK.

The completion of the wall was a crucial part of the development enabling the various elements of the working, living and leisure destination to take shape.

Continuing safely throughout the ongoing global pandemic, the project’s main contractor, Gateshead-based Tolent has completed around 60 percent of the concrete super structure, which provides the primary support of the three, seven-storey apartment blocks that will now begin to be constructed.

With the structural steel frame of the 92-bed Premier Inn Hotel almost complete, this week also sees the arrival of the second of three tower cranes on site.

The steel and concrete works carried out over the last few months have all been completed by local companies based within a 10-mile radius of the development including Finley Structures and Wyn Construction.

Milburngate is being developed by a joint venture partnership between Arlington Real Estate and Richardson, supported by a £120 million forward funding commitment from LaSalle Investment Management.

Phase One of the development will feature a mix of premium leisure operators, such as Everyman Cinema and Miller & Carter, along with 153 built-to-rent apartments, a high specification office building, One Milburngate, and the Premier Inn hotel.

Allan Cook, Managing Director of Arlington Real Estate, said: “We are really pleased with the progress we are making at Milburngate and this significant civil engineering project will be a catalyst for the next stage of the development of Phase One.

“Developing a site of this scale next to a river in a historic city brings a range of challenges and we have been impressed with the innovation and expertise of Tolent and its supply chain to successfully deliver this major part of the construction of Milburngate.”

Andy McLeod, CEO for Tolent, said: “Our foundations are in the civil engineering sector and our teams continue to deliver exceptional standards of work now, as they have for some forty years.

“Working collaboratively with our client and supply chain partners Billinghurst George & Partners and Volker Ground Engineering, we created an innovative solution to deliver the retaining wall as you see it today – something that was initially deemed unachievable. A great achievement for all involved.”