640,000 sq ft of prime industrial/warehouse accommodation in five units has reached practical completion and is ready for occupation at Integra 61, the £400M Durham mixed-use development being developed by Citrus Group at J61 of the A1(M).

Set on the 205 acre Integra 61 site, the completed Connect units comprise the largest speculatively developed industrial scheme in the North East for more than a decade.

The Connect scheme includes a 298,000 sq ft stand-alone high bay 15m warehouse unit, Connect 298, filling a crucial void in the historically low supply pipeline. A further four units of high quality industrial/warehouse accommodation, ranging from 43,000 to 152,000 sq ft, sit alongside Connect 298 on an adjacent plot centrally located at the Integra 61 scheme.

Sunrise Real Estate agreed a forward funding deal with Citrus in 2022 for the delivery of the units and GMI Construction was appointed as contractor. Appointed agents Avison Young, CBRE and Colliers are marketing the new units to potential occupiers, responding to both regional and national demand for high quality industrial and warehousing accommodation in the North East, where supply is currently at a critical low.

The wider Integra 61 mixed-use development, which is well on the way to creating over 3,000 jobs and adding £2 billion to the regional economy over a 10 year period, has consent to deliver more than 3 million sq ft of employment space in units from 1,200 sq ft upwards in addition to some 260 new homes, a new hotel, nursery, drive-thru restaurants, vehicle dealerships and trade counter/retail units.

The Connect units will complement the broad spectrum of industrial opportunities at Integra 61, which is already home to Amazon’s 2 million sq ft Fulfilment Centre.

The roadside element is proving to be a great success with the team at Citrus recently securing KFC, who will open a new drive-thru to sit alongside the recently opened Greggs and Costa Coffee drive-thru units. There is strong interest in the remaining plots for a variety of uses including EV charging, trade-counter units and self-storage.

Bellway’s 91-unit housing development (Clarence Gate) is well underway to deliver a mix of modern three and four-bedroom detached and semi-detached homes at the northern sector of the scheme.  This will enhance the largely completed first phase of 170 houses being delivered by Persimmon, known as Millbeck Grange where many homes are already occupied.

David Cullingford, Project Lead for Integra 61 and Citrus, said: “To have delivered 640,000 sq ft of brand new high quality industrial accommodation to a market witnessing critical voids and where supply levels are struggling to be met is fantastic news and further demonstrates why Integra 61 has become a flagship project for the region. The North East industrial market is in good shape with pent up demand and as such, the Connect scheme will play a vital role in creating more jobs and investment by attracting both new occupiers and assisting those already in the region to upgrade their space.”

Matthew Stevens, Head of Development at Sunrise Real Estate, commented: “We are pleased to see the Connect scheme come together to deliver exceptional quality at a range of sizes to meet the needs of local and international businesses. The five units benefit from a skilled local labour pool and high levels of regional public investment and are set bring meaningful job creation to the North East.

“The community engagement undertaken by the project team has been excellent, providing a range of apprenticeships and workshops upskilling over 100 young members of the community. We’re very proud of the social and economic impact delivered by the project overall, benefiting businesses and people alike.”

Gary Oates, GMI Construction’s Regional Director for the North East, said: “We are exceptionally proud to bring the Connect scheme at Integra 61 to practical completion, demonstrating our capabilities and expertise in the construction of large industrial units and fulfilment centres.  This significant project is a great example of the collaboration between Citrus as a proactive developer, our experienced North East team and predominately local supply chain.  These much-needed facilities will benefit the region, helping to attract UK and international businesses to the region and provide a boost to the North East economy.”

Cllr Amanda Hopgood, leader of Durham County Council, said: “Integra 61 is bringing opportunities to attract business to County Durham, creating thousands of high-quality jobs and boosting our local economy. Supporting the development of sites such as this has long been a priority for the council and is a key theme in our Inclusive Economic Strategy; developing places and infrastructure so that people and businesses thrive, creating more and better jobs in an inclusive and green economy.”