The development consortium leading the regeneration of Durham City’s Riverside has appointed specialist contractor Thompsons of Prudhoe to undertake the demolition of the old Milburngate House building.
A national business based in Northumberland, Thompsons will deliver the 12-month demolition programme in partnership with Carillion Construction Ltd, the lead contractor on the Milburngate regeneration project, supporting around 70 local jobs.
Thompsons has more than 40 years’ experience in professional demolition services operating across the UK. A member of the National Federation of Demolition Contractors (NFDC) since 1981, the company’s Managing Director, John Thompson Jnr, is a past Chairman of the body’s North East Region and is Regional Representative of the specialist trade body at its national level.
Thompsons won the coveted Construction News Demolition Specialist of the Year Award in 2014, and was shortlisted again in 2015 and 2016.
Employing 250 people, the company has a long association with Durham, including delivering the earthworks and site preparation for the Radission Blu Hotel, adjacent to Milburngate.
Following the completion of the internal strip out of the disused Milburngate House building, which is now in progress, Thompsons will then embark on the external demolition later this year.
As a highly-experienced contractor in the sector, Thompsons will employ a range of methods to minimise the impact of the process, which will include the crushing and re-use of building materials in the site’s future development.
Demolition of the former Passport Office building, which has reached the end of its useful life and is highly energy inefficient, will enable the £150 million regeneration of the site on Framwelgate Waterside.
The development consortium, consisting of Carillion, Arlington Real Estate and Richardsons Capital LLP, has submitted a planning application to Durham County Council to create a premium, mixed-use development.
Featuring an Everyman Cinema as the cornerstone of its leisure offering, the riverside development will also host a range of premium restaurants and bars. Milburngate will also include high-specification apartments and high-quality, energy-efficient office space.
Helen Hillary, Director at Thompsons of Prudhoe, said: “We are proud to have been appointed to such a prestigious project in the North East. The developers have a fantastic vision to transform Durham’s Riverside, which can be realised once this building has been removed. We will utilise all of our experience and expertise to deliver a sustainable and environmentally-aware project taking into the consideration the site’s unique location.”
Ian Beaumont, Milburngate Project Manager, said: “We are keen, whenever possible to engage a local supply chain for our projects and Thompsons of Prudhoe is a highly-respected and award-winning North East contractor.
“The demolition is the first step in a significant regeneration project that will dramatically enhance Durham’s Riverside. The existing building has reached the end of its useful life, is very energy inefficient and is not suitable for conversion to other uses that will offer maximum benefit to Durham City.”