Integra 61, the £300m mixed-use employment development being brought forward by Citrus Durham, has become fully operational with the opening of Amazon’s new 2m sq ft Fulfilment Centre and the completion of over £20m of major infrastructure works at the 205-acre site adjacent to Junction 61 of the A1(M).
Amazon’s new facility, which is one of the UK’s largest logistics buildings, is bringing more than 1,000 new permanent jobs to the area. Its opening coincided with the completion of a £5.5m improvement scheme to Junction 61 and the A688 undertaken by Durham County Council and jointly funded by the authority, the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), via the Local Growth Fund, and Highways England. Citrus had already invested over £15m in infrastructure works on the site itself along with 2 new roundabouts on the A688, which completed in late 2019.
The improvements to Junction 61 and dualling of the A688 has significantly enhanced access to the Integra 61 development which will deliver a mix of uses including a total 3 million sq ft of industrial and logistics space, circa 300 new homes and 50,000 sq ft of roadside opportunities including a family pub/restaurant, hotel, drive-thru’s, trade counter units, car showrooms, a care home and a nursery.
Citrus Durham has been working closely with all stakeholders since it acquired the strategic site in 2014 and following completion of the extensive groundworks and infrastructure programme, the scheme is now operational and well on its way to achieving its job-creating potential of some 4,000 new jobs in the area.
David Cullingford, Project Lead for Citrus Durham, said; “After years in the making, Integra 61 is now entering an exciting new stage in its evolution, opening up for business and providing a first-class environment in a highly strategic location set to attract more companies and investment to the region. Despite the challenges, we were always confident that our vision to create a large-scale, mixed-use development of excellence was deliverable, and thanks to incredible support from the County Council, the North East LEP and other stakeholders, the site has now come to life. We are looking forward to continuing these relationships and accelerating the delivery of the remainder of the scheme.”
Cllr Simon Henig, Leader of Durham County Council, said; “The completion of the Integra 61 site is a major milestone for this project and also a sign of hope during uncertain times. The 1,000 jobs Amazon is bringing to the area will be the first of many, providing a wealth of opportunities for local people and boosting our economy.
“Supporting the development of strategic employment sites has long been a priority for the council and will play a crucial role in our recovery from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. By investing in the Integra 61 site and in others across the county, we can help to build confidence in our county and encourage more businesses to invest here. At the same time, the work we have undertaken at Junction 61 and the A688 has increased safety and traffic flow at a key location, which will benefit those who live, work and visit the county.”
Andrew Moffat, Chair of the Investment Board at the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said; “Integra 61 is a strategically important site for the region which received £1.5m from the Government’s Local Growth Fund to help address the shortage in the North East of serviced prime employment sites that are capable of meeting the needs of large scale businesses. This funding helped ensure the site was investor ready with the right infrastructure in place. We are delighted to see the site now being opened up and creating valuable jobs for our residents.”