• 11 March 2021
  • News,

Milburngate has taken a step towards enhancing pedestrian connectivity in Durham with the installation of a brand-new suspended staircase, which will create a direct route into the development and the riverside from Durham railway station.

Located in the north west corner of Milburngate and accessed directly from Framwellgate Peth, the new steps sit on top of a raised steel frame, which was installed following a three-month substructure programme including excavation, in-situ concrete structures and piles.

Installed over two days, around 80 tonnes of pre-cast concrete was carefully positioned into place using a specialist mobile crane designed to operate in a confined space and able to manoeuvre the 14 individual pieces up to their final resting place some 54m from the ground, negotiating obstacles including the trees on the bank at the rear of Milburngate on their way.

This new staircase will provide seamless pedestrian access to Milburngate, connecting the development with the railway station while offering uninterrupted views across the River Wear towards the spire of St Nic’s church.

As they arrive in the public square at the heart of Milburngate, office occupiers, residents and visitors will have an outstanding view of the church and the World Heritage site’s Durham Cathedral and Castle.

Over the coming months, the staircase will be completed with a mix of soft and hard landscaping, which will be finished with the installation of illuminated handrails.

Allan Cook, Managing Director of Arlington Real Estate, which is developing Milburngate in a joint venture with Richardson, said: “This staircase has always been a fundamental part of the design of Milburngate, connecting the railway station to the heart of the city. 

“We always envisioned a view of St. Nic’s Spire framed on each side by the development, which as you descend opens up stunning views of the cathedral and castle; standing at the top of the steps we can now see the first part of that vision coming to life.”

Paul Salkeld, Project Manager from main contractor Tolent, said: “This is another important milestone for the scheme as Milburngate continues to take shape.  It was a challenge to complete the install in such a tight area, which included the treeline either side of the staircase location, but our groundworker, specialist lifting team, together with the Tolent project team, expertly handled the project and ensured a successful completion.”