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Business & Economy

Huge crane gives Durham’s Milburngate development a big lift

Construction workers will enjoy the best views of an historic North East city after a 68-metre tall crane was installed on site.

Positioned at the heart of the six-acre Milburngate development, on Durham’s riverside, the crane will play an instrumental role in building the first phase of the scheme over the next 18 months.

The crane – which is taller than the Leaning Tower of Pisa – has been positioned in what will become the location of an Everyman boutique cinema screen.

The building is being constructed around the base of the crane (shown disappearing out of shot, left) until closer to completion when it will be dismantled.

With a ten-tonne capacity, the crane – supplied by London Tower Cranes – will support logistical operations for the construction of Milburngate, which is being delivered by main contractor Tolent and specifically includes the creation of the development’s concrete core that will form key elements of phase one.

Covering 70 per cent of the entire Milburngate site, phase one includes, in addition to the boutique cinema, a 92-bed flagship Premier Inn Hotel and premium bars and restaurants such as Bar + Block and Miller & Carter.

Alongside its leisure offering, the development will include 53,701sq ft of Grade A office space within One Milburngate, which officials say will help attract up to 400 jobs to the centre of Durham and 153 built-to-rent apartments.

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

Ian Beaumont, project director for Milburngate, said: “We have made good progress on the early stages of Milburngate and this tower crane will facilitate the construction of some of the main elements of Phase One.

“It certainly is an impressive sight on the city’s skyline and highlights the size and scope of Milburngate and its importance to the future social and economic future of the riverside.”

Michael Rutherford, project director for Tolent, said: “The arrival of the first of three tower cranes on site at Milburngate marks a significant milestone in our construction activity.

“Over the coming months, the site will really start to take shape as the various elements within the development start to become more visible.

“We’ve been working continuously over the past ten months with our experienced civil engineering team to ready and prepare the site and we’re now really starting to see the vision of Milburngate become a reality.”

Councillor Carl Marshall, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economic regeneration, added: “Anyone who drives through Durham cannot fail to notice the arrival of the tower crane.

“Over the next ten years, we’re expecting to see £3.4bn of investment in the county, creating more and better jobs through developments such as Milburngate.

“By continuing to provide an environment that attracts investment and supports growth, we hope to be able to support the creation of 30,000 new jobs across County Durham during the next 15 years.”