top of page
Durham Innovation District, Durham City

Durham Innovation District, Durham City

Durham Innovation District is a unique City Centre development site.

The new Innovation District, backed by Durham County Council and Durham University to create a ‘triple helix’ approach, will give businesses access to talent, research, networks, and resources within a setting that combines high-quality infrastructure and amenity with a strong community feel.

Key Features

Size: 62 hectares innovation district, with 15 hectares of development at Aykley Heads

Proposed master plan output: Hybrid planning is in place for 38,468 sq m of development

Site owner/partner: Durham County Council

Site requirements: Investors

Sarah Johnson

Inward Investment Officer

07901326275

Durham Innovation District, Durham City

The new Innovation District, backed by Durham County Council and Durham University to create a ‘triple helix’ approach, will give businesses access to talent, research, networks, and resources within a setting that combines high-quality infrastructure and amenity with a strong community feel.


The Durham City Incubator is already located at Aykley Heads, supporting university spins outs and high growth potential start-ups, and Durham County Council has significant experience of developing and growing knowledge-intensive clusters at NETPark, one of the UK’s premier science parks located nearby in Sedgefield  (insert hyperlink) where a third phase of development is due to start on site in summer 2023.


The next development phase of the 60-hectare Aykley Heads will build on this experience to create a nationally significant Durham Innovation District in the heart of Durham city. The first-class site will deliver high-quality office space and an innovation ecosystem that allows business to thrive. It will drive a step change in economic growth, providing 4,000 jobs, 38,468sqm commercial floorspace with a hybrid planning consent in place and is in complete ownership of Durham County Council.


The East-Coast Mainline runs through the innovation district, with the Aykley Heads site within a few minutes walk of the railway station. It is served by the Cross Country, Trans-Pennine and East Coast mainlines providing excellent north-south, east-west connectivity, and accessible by car from the A1 in under 10 minutes.

It is already home to established businesses such as Atom Bank and Waterstons Ltd, and is a short walk to the Milburngate development and the new Durham University Business School, making Aykley Heads a natural home for innovative and knowledge-rich businesses.

The Aykley Heads site is ready to be taken to the market, and a delivery partner search will be launched in 2024.