MP marks milestone moment in development of Integra 61

Durham City MP Mary Kelly Foy signs one of the first steel beams to arrive at the Connect site, with Julie Raistrick, James Taylor, Regional Director, Citrus Group, and Gary Oates

Citrus Durham has marked a major milestone in the development of the 650,000 sq. ft Connect warehouse and logistics development within its Integra 61 mixed-use project at J61 of the A1(M), Durham.

Durham City MP Mary Kelly Foy was invited to site to mark the event by signing a steel beam, the first of 1,200 tonnes of steelwork that will be used during the project.

GMI Construction Group was appointed by Citrus to construct the five units that comprise Connect and the steel frames of the first two units will begin to rise in the coming weeks.

The Connect development comprises four industrial/logistics units ranging from 43,000 sq. ft to 152,000 sq. ft plus a stand-alone 298,000 sq. ft warehouse on an adjacent plot which will feature 15 metre high bays. This unit, called Connect 298, will be the region’s largest speculatively developed industrial unit for more than a decade.

Citrus secured £75m to enable the speculative development of Connect at its Integra 61 site, with the units scheduled to be ready for occupation by next summer.

Mary Kelly Foy MP said: “I’m pleased to see this development moving forwards with the arrival of the steelwork. Warehousing and logistics space is in great demand in this region and is a vital component in the economic infrastructure that will contribute to the area’s prosperity.”

David Cullingford, project lead for Integra 61 and Citrus, said: “There is currently lots of activity at Integra 61 and to be seeing the steelwork about to rise on Connect is the first step towards filling a crucial void in the regional logistics pipeline. We were delighted to mark the event with a visit from the Durham City MP.”

Gary Oates, GMI Construction Group’s North East Operations Director, added: “GMI is immensely proud to be involved in a development that will create jobs and stimulate the region’s economy. People will definitely notice real progress once the framework goes up.”

The steelwork has been fabricated and will be erected by Finley Structures, based in Newton Aycliffe, which is an established supplier to GMI Construction Group.

Finley Structures managing director Julie Raistrick said: “We have supplied steelwork to several GMI-led projects across the North East and Yorkshire, but this is certainly one of the largest. It highlights the commitment from GMI in using local suppliers and contractors which brings additional value to the region and benefits local communities.”

Integra 61, which includes a two million sq. ft Amazon Fulfilment Centre, is the largest logistics and manufacturing opportunity in the North East in a generation.

The 205 acre site has the potential to create some 4,000 jobs and add £2 billion to the regional economy over the next 10 years. The scheme includes circa 270 new homes, a care home, hotel, nursery, family pub/restaurant, vehicle dealerships and several trade counter and other roadside/retail units.