Supporting local undergraduates


Milburngate developer Allan Cook, from Arlington Real Estate, has contributed to an academic research paper, which focuses on the opportunities and challenges to delivering prime office developments in the North East, including Durham City.

Allan, who is part of the Arlington Richardson Development Partnership, was interviewed by Northumbria University student, Sami Ali, for her research, which will be submitted as her Real Estate Undergraduate dissertation for her BSc Hons degree from Northumbria University.

Sami, who is in the final year of her degree, is preparing her dissertation on the complexities of prime office development in secondary locations.

Sami said: “During my first and second year studies, we always looked at prime markets and didn’t focus on secondary locations outside of Newcastle; like Durham, Darlington and Sunderland, these are the only places that have stock coming onto the market.

“The idea for my dissertation was inspired by my time on placement at the former Vaux brewery site in Sunderland, last year, and getting an understanding of the process involved behind the scenes. I had a real interest in how an office market could develop in Sunderland.”

In 2018, towards the end of her work placement, with a real estate agent and developer at the Vaux Site, and after consultation with her supervisor, Sami decided to look at other sites that were going through a similar regeneration process to Sunderland and selected Milburngate and Feethams House development in Darlington.

Sami added: “What is happening in the North East is very positive, despite everything that is going on politically. Milburngate, and the other sites in my dissertation, have great potential. People may not realise how much is here, they may have turned a blind eye to it. But they need to open their eyes and come and see what is happening.”

Sami grew up and went to school in Sunderland, where she still lives with her parents.

Sami said: “I made a choice to study Real Estate after my ‘A’ levels, to lead towards a career in surveying because every day is different it’s not your typical 9-5 desk job; I am excited to make a difference and meet new people.” 

On completion of her studies, Sami wants to become a chartered surveyor and to continue to be a part of the regeneration and revival of the North East.

Sami concluded: “The North East is showing some real vibrancy with developments like Milburngate, Vaux and Feethams House, which is encouraging for the region’s future. Milburngate will transform the local office market in Durham and offer something new, which the city hasn’t been able to offer in recent years.”