The steelwork of three retail units that form the core of a new Durham retail park has been completed by GMI Construction Group.

Work will begin shortly on the fourth and final smaller unit, a drive-thru, on North Durham Retail Park.

GMI Construction Group, which is principal contractor, is currently progressing with brickwork and cladding on the three retail units, which have a combined floorspace of 53,400 sq. ft.

They will be occupied by Home Bargains, Iceland, and supermarket Aldi. The drive-thru is to be operated by Starbucks. It is estimated that the development will create up to 95 full-time equivalent jobs and is due for completion this summer.

Premcor Estates and Wyngrove, supported by Lichfields and The Harris Partnership, submitted plans to Durham County Council in 2019 for the redevelopment of Elddis Business Park.

Situated near the Arnison Retail Centre, the five-acre site off Old Pit Lane, Pity Me, was sold by Eldiss Transport as surplus to requirements.

Five buildings previously occupying the site were demolished and the rubble crushed and tested before being used to form the foundations of the buildings and to construct the roads, car parks and footpaths.

This allowed GMI Construction Group to reduce the number of off-site lorry movements, helping to minimise the development’s environmental impact.

Work is currently being carried out to relocate the existing entrance further south along Old Pit Lane. A total of 267 parking spaces will also be provided.

Gary Oates, GMI Construction’s Operations Director for the North East, said: “The steelwork is complete on the three main retail units and we are now progressing with brickwork and cladding.

“Work is progressing extremely well, and we are on track to complete the development by July.

“Preparations are underway to install the steelwork on the fourth and final unit. Having the majority of the superstructures in place is an exciting milestone, and people can see that North Durham Retail Park is really taking shape.”