A consortium of real-estate developers has proposed a £150m redevelopment of the Milburngate House complex in Durham. The group, including Arlington Real Estate, Richardsons Capital LLP, and Carillion, will exhibit their plans at the Radisson Blu Hotel on February 17. The proposals would see the demolition of Milburngate House, an office block which currently houses Durham City’s passport office, and the construction of a multi-purpose building in its place. These plans are part of a greater drive for urban rejuvenation in Durham and they coincide with the redevelopment of The Gates shopping-centre scheduled to begin in April. The consortium is expected to apply for planning permission in March.
The Durham Inter-Collegiate Christian Union (DICCU) is to host ‘Story’, its largest mission event in recent years, from 13 to 20 February. The initiative will include lunchtime and evening talks every weekday, hosting guest speakers such as former Major-General Tim Cross, and former member of the Ulster Volunteer Force Billy McCurrie. Described by the Christian Union as ‘an invitation to explore stories of life and Christianity’, it will be based in the ‘Story Marquee’ off Church Street Head and the ‘Globe Café’ at Durham Student Union’s Kingsgate Bar.
Opposition is mounting against proposals to franchise the Crown Post Office on Silver Street, Durham. Durham City’s Labour MP, Roberta Blackman-Woods, has proposed a joint campaign against the plans with Durham Communication Workers Union (CWU), saying that she found it ‘difficult to understand why this [branch] has been identified for possible franchising’. If it proceeds, franchising will occur over 28-days of planning and 6 weeks of public consultation, and is expected to affect 11 staff.
Durham University’s Magna Carta exhibition has been included in VisitEngland’s 2016 ‘Awards for Excellence’, short-listed for the title ‘Tourism Event of the Year’. The exhibition was unveiled in 2015 to mark the 800th anniversary of the document’s signing and features the only surviving copy from 1216. The final judgement is expected during English Tourism Week on March 8.
Officials have expressed concern over ‘worrying levels’ of ‘legal high’ abuse in north-east England. The North East Ambulance Service have received 292 emergency calls connected with the practice since 1 January this year, with 20 occurring in the last weekend alone. A spokesman has said that the ‘continuing spike’ in the use of such drugs is having a ‘significant impact’.