David Cullingford is Project Lead on Integra 61
IN THE MIX – WHY INCLUSIVITY DRIVES SUCCESS AT INTEGRA 61
Looking at Integra 61 it’s hard to miss the 2m sq ft Amazon Fulfilment Centre and there’s no denying that attracting Amazon really put the development on the map, but our vision for Integra 61 has always been to create a thriving, sustainable community and the key to that is in the mix of uses we have pulled together in this fantastic location.
With 205 acres to utilise, we have always been mindful that this £300m development is integrated (hence the name Integra!) with Bowburn Village and the surrounding area with a whole range of amenities for people and businesses to benefit from. While we do have capacity for large units, and our joint agent from Colliers Rob Whatmuff’s recent blog demonstrated the severe regional shortages of ready to occupy units for those occupiers, we are also faced with very strong demand for smaller units. Joint agent Danny Cramman from Avison Young shone a spotlight in this in his blog, showing that the lack of speculative development in the last 10 years has meant the majority of available stock in the sub 5,000 sq ft size range is older in nature and not fit for purpose for occupiers seeking to modernise their space.
Therefore the key benefit of having such a vast site is that we can cater for all these requirements. We can have a stand alone unit of say, 400,000 sq ft alongside Evolution@Integra61 which will comprise 23 flexible units totalling 52,142 sq ft and ranging in size from 1,205 sq ft up to 14,940 sq ft. Businesses and operations of all types and sizes have the same need for a well-connected location on the A1(M) where there have been recent multi-million pound improvements to Junction 61 and we are just 4 miles away from the world-renowned University City of Durham with its population of over 40,000. This, in addition to the total 740,000 people living within 30 minutes of the scheme, offers occupiers access to an excellent local labour pool.
A real point of interest at the scheme is the roadside element. Costa Coffee was the first occupier to secure a prime roadside unit, which was delivered by Citrus Durham with a further £1m investment, and the drive-thru unit opened for business at Christmas 2020. The roadside units occupy a highly prominent position at the gateway to the site opposite Roadchef’s existing Durham Services and benefit from a high volume of passing traffic on the A1 (M), making them ideally located to attract a wide variety of different operators. We have also just announced that Greggs will develop their first County Durham stand-alone drive-thru at Integra 61 and with the 300 new homes, 70-bed hotel, family pub/restaurant, nursery, drive-thru’s and trade counter/retail units we are confident that we are providing the right mix of uses. All this will create some 4,000 new jobs which will make a huge impact on the North East economy.
The new homes are selling exceptionally well and that makes the scheme a highly sustainable living/working environment. When we first acquired the site in 2014 and worked with the Council, Local Enterprise Partnership and the local community before starting works in 2018, we had a bold ambition to create a whole new destination with new jobs, employment space, amenities and homes and to be where we are now is incredibly rewarding and we are looking forward to continuing to see Integra 61 reach its full potential.