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Panel session at the Durham Innovation District launch

We’re working with Durham County Council and global commercial real estate services firm Avison Young to launch the opportunity for a joint venture partner to be involved in the cutting-edge research and business accelerator, Durham Innovation District.

The project was launched at Built Environment Networking’s Tomorrow’s Science and Innovation Clusters event in Birmingham, featuring a panel of key figures behind the innovative project, who discussed the potential impact and opportunities the district will create.

Driving innovation

Plans for the District will give businesses access to talent, research, networks, and resources within a setting that combines high-quality infrastructure and amenities within one of the UK’s most progressive regions. The project brings together public, private and education sectors to help drive innovation across multiple industries including environmental science, technology and engineering.

Located at Aykley Heads, in Durham City, this first-class site will deliver a high-quality innovation campus with room for about 400,000 sq ft of commercial development.

Focusing on the maximisation of economic growth, investment into the district will concentrate on key niches, such as fintech, data science, computing, low carbon energy and healthcare – where businesses can benefit from world-class talent and research from Durham University.

The Durham City Incubator is already located at Aykley Heads, supporting university spin-outs and high-growth potential start-ups, as well as national and international innovation businesses. Many of the spin-outs and start-ups began as simple ideas, which, through the support of Durham University, have grown into commercialised products and services.

Championing County Durham

Our Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Colin Bain, said: “Durham University is home to world-leading research and innovation in fields as diverse as green energy, finance, big data and healthcare. We continue to champion all that County Durham has to offer and play a significant role as a driver of economic prosperity - supporting jobs, attracting investment, and sparking pioneering partnerships, spin-outs and start-ups.

“Our strategic partnership with Durham County Council creates a framework of co-operation to leverage both our knowledge and ideas, and the scale, capability and capacity of our organisations to make a real, positive difference in the county and on the global stage. 

"We’re delighted to be involved in this key milestone in delivering the Durham Innovation District, which has the potential to be a truly transformational driver in our shared vision for County Durham as a highly attractive place to live, work and study.”

The Innovation District represents a significant opportunity to catalyse economic transformation. Potential delivery partners or investors interested in this exciting opportunity who wish to find out more should contact

Photo: L:R: Stuart Howie, Principal Managing Director Leeds, Head of Regeneration at Avison Young, Edward Twiddy, Director of ESG and co-founder of Atom bank, Professor Colin Bain, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), Durham University, and Amy Harhoff, Corporate Director of Regeneration and Growth, Durham County Council.

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