Located in Aykley Heads Business Park, the local authority aims to develop the site into a place for collaboration between the public, private and education sectors.
The Durham Innovation District area also includes the Sands Building on the banks of the River Wear, which houses the new Durham University Business School, and Milburngate in Durham City.
City councilors are due to further develop the plans at a cabinet meeting next Wednesday. In doing so, they are being asked to assist in sourcing a joint venture supply partner who will work with stakeholders on the rehabilitation of the Aykley Heads area.
The local authority says the new district will be inspired by similar areas across the county, including the science-led NETPark in Sedgefield.
This comes after the local authority gave further details on the demolition of their existing headquarters at County Hall, also in the Aykley Heads area. Staff will be relocated to new purpose-built offices elsewhere on the site, as well as existing buildings acquired.
Cllr Amanda Hopgood, leader of the county council, welcomed the news as a significant step forward for the area. She said: “What we’ve been doing over the past few months is redefining our vision for Aykley Heads and redesigning the site to be part of a larger innovation district that offers perfect conditions for businesses to grow.”
“We believe this district can be of regional, national and international importance and can be the driving force behind County Durham’s future economic growth.
“The Durham Innovation District will be a uniquely attractive offering in many ways. Not only is it set in a UNESCO World Heritage-listed city, but it also features the triple helix, representing the knowledge and skills of Durham University; the public sector jobs which we are transferring to Aykley Heads and which we hope will act as a catalyst for further development; and the expertise of a private delivery partner.”
Professor Karen O’Brien, Vice Chancellor of Durham University added: “We are delighted to be working with Durham County Council to develop our shared vision of County Durham becoming a highly attractive place to live, work and learn.” a prosperous region that offers good jobs and new opportunities.
“We believe the combination of the public, private and education sectors working together for Durham offers the potential to develop a pre-eminent innovation district including Aykley Heads and to fuel the continued growth of County Durham’s economy.”
“We look forward to playing our role in developing a close partnership in the next phase of this project and bringing our ideas and expertise to this potentially transformative project.”
https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/23776844.exciting-plans-revealed-new-durham-innovation-district/?ref=rss Exciting plans for Durham’s new Innovation District revealed