Gurpreet completes the Yorkshire 3 peaks in aid of St Cuthberts Hospice

Our Chief Executive Gurpreet completed the Yorkshire 3 peaks raising vital funds for St Cuthberts Hospice.

The Yorkshire 3 peaks involves climbing the 3 peaks of Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen-y-ghent with an assent of over 5,000 sq feet and a total distance of 38.5km. Gurpreet, alongside his wife completed the challenge in a very respectable time of just over 11 hours.  With Durham Group matching donations made, Gurpreet was able to raise enough funds to cover the costs of the St Cuthberts Hospice operation for the day.

Commenting on the challenge Gurpreet said “I chose to do the challenge in May thinking that the weather would be kind to us.  I was wrong, it was a very wet and windy day which made the conditions even more challenging. Whilst very difficult, doing the challenge was a fantastic experience and as much of a metal challenge as a physical one.  Having been so well supported by friends and colleagues and knowing I was raising vital funds for St Cuthberts Hospice really helped provide the extra motivation very much needed on the day”.

We look forward to seeing what challenge Gurpreet takes on next!

Durham Group welcomes Isla

Durham Group - new employee Isla

Durham Group are pleased to have completed a long term lease agreement with the team behind the Michelin Guide recognised Coarse Restaurant who will be opening their next Durham venue at 53 North Road.

Isla will be open 9am to 5pm serving brunch and small plates along with all the drinks you would expect at all times of day!. Refurbishment works are underway with an opening date likely for June 2024.

Chief Executive Gurpreet Jagpal said “this letting is really exciting for Durham City Centre as evidenced by the excitement seen on social media in recent weeks. Ruari, Gemma and Craig have set the bar high with Coarse and I am sure this venue serving brunch and small plates during the day will be equally as good.”

He added “This letting is another great example of the impact Graham Soult (CannyInsights.com) has had through his work with independent retailers in Durham City. Graham introduced the trio to Durham Group some time ago and when this site became available, it suited their needs perfectly”

Durham Group were advised by professional advisors DWF and Carter Towler

Beamish Museum unveils a new minibus to transport groups accessing health and wellbeing activities with support from Durham Group.

The County Durham open air museum provides award-winning activities for people living with dementia and other long-term health conditions in Clover Cottage, a dedicated space for the museum’s health and wellbeing work.

The Health and Wellbeing Team moved to Clover Cottage in The 1950s Town last year, allowing it to expand its programme of activities.  Many group participants have limited walking ability, and some are wheelchair users, so the team identified the need for dedicated wheelchair accessible minibus to transport participants to the cottage to access the sessions.

Local businesses Durham Group, Newcastle Building Society, Stanley Travel, Stephenson Mohl and Ward Hadaway kindly stepped in to help sponsor the much-needed minibus.

Michelle Kindleysides, Head of Health and Wellbeing at the museum, said: “We cannot thank our sponsors enough for their generosity in supporting us with our accessible minibus. It’s going to make a huge difference to our participants and our groups, meaning that we can meet people as soon as they arrive and can support people to get to Clover Cottage easily, reducing any worries that people might have when they arrive.

“We have this amazing new space here at Clover Cottage, but being in the middle of the museum does make it trickier for the majority of our participants to get to us quickly and easily, especially during times when the museum is busy. The mini bus is perfect for what we need!”

The museum’s Partnerships Team arranged sponsorship from local businesses who were keen to support the cause and their business logos are featured on the side of the bus.

Gurpreet Jagpal, Chief Executive, Durham Group, said: “Beamish Museum is a valuable asset and destination for us all in the North East. Making it accessible to as many people as possible is very important and therefore we were delighted to support the funding of this minibus.

“The Beamish Health and Wellbeing Team delivers such an important service to residents across the North East and the combination of Clover Cottage and this minibus will help them deliver more services to more people!”

Durham Group makes a double acquisition in Durham City Centre

Durham Group completed the double acquisition of an office building and an industrial building within a couple of weeks of each other in two off market transactions.  Both transactions were completed swiftly with the office building acquisition being completed within 15 working days of terms being agreed.

The industrial unit on Frankland Lane is fully occupied  by a local taxi Company on a long term lease. The Office building on Claypath is vacant and we will be formulating our plans for this building during early 2024.

With thanks to the professional advisors who worked on the transactions including DWF law, RA Jackson Chartered Surveyors and Carter Towler LLP

Durham Group supports Hospice fundraiser by doubling donations

St Cuthberts Hospice launched a Power Up campaign aiming to raise £100,000 which is the impact of cost inflation (primarily increased utilities costs) on the hospice in the current financial year.

Durham Group were delighted to support alongside other local businesses, by doubling donations made by the general public.

Kay Carrick, St Cuthberts Hospice development team leader commented “We have been blown away by the support shown by our local community, through their fundraising efforts and the many, many kind words and comments shared with us about their experiences of Hospice care during the campaign. The fact that these donations were doubled by businesses like Durham Group Estates is amazing and ensures that our staffing team can continue to deliver care in our community”.

Poverty Hurts County Durham 2023 - donations by Durham Group Estates

Durham Group supports local charities with vital community fundraisings this Christmas

Durham Group are pleased to be supporting a number of community fundraisings in County Durham. The cost-of-living crisis is at the top of the nation’s economic agenda and a number of charities have been severely impacted by high inflation and the increased energy cost.

Examples of projects supported include the Poverty Hurts Appeal which has been launched by County Durham Community Foundation (“CDCF”) to raise £1million in response to the cost-of-living crisis and St Cuthberts Hospice through the provision of Christmas presents and pampering packs to patients. 

CDCF lead by Dr Michelle Cooper has raised over £56m to support communities over the last 27 years and the Poverty Hurts Appeal coincides with the latest statistics showing that more than one-third of children in the North East now live below the poverty line.

Chief executive, Gurpreet Singh Jagpal, said: “I heard about the Poverty Hurts Appeal through Durham Business Club and wanted to support it straight away.

“I’ve grown up in the region, studied and lived in this county, and it’s very distressing to see many families struggling. This is our way, as a local business, of being part of the solution by taking action and backing the community projects that are helping people of all ages stay warm and well this winter and beyond.”

Bede House Durham commercial property purchase

Retail trade association acquires its Durham offices

North-East property investment company Durham Group is pleased to announce the sale of Bede House to the Federation of Independent Retailers (the Fed) in an off-market transaction.

Previously known as the National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN), the trade association relocated from London to office space in Bede House in 2020 after 100 years of being based predominantly in the capital.

Durham Group worked closely with the Fed with the relocation, securing it as a tenant in the 26,000 sq. ft. two storey building which had just undergone significant refurbishment.

By relocating to the north-east, the trade association’s contact centre operation and administration departments which had previously been based in nearby Gilesgate were consolidated into the new premises.

Commenting on the sale, Durham Group chairman Lord Wrigglesworth said: “The investment in Bede House and this disposal are exactly the type of projects we take great pleasure in delivering.  Following our acquisition, we completed a significant investment in the building, improving its energy efficiency and layout to suit the modern-day office. Working closely with Chris Pearson at Naylors Gavin Black, we showcased to the Fed the benefits of this building and Durham City as a place for the organisation to be based.”

Durham Group Chief Executive Gurpreet Singh Jagpal added: “We received an off-market approach from the Fed to purchase Bede House and are pleased that the association continues to invest heavily in the city following its relocation. The Fed’s wish to acquire the building is evidence of the success of its move and a vote of confidence for our region. We continue to invest in a number of ongoing projects that we have in the county.”

Founded in 1919 and supporting over 15,000 independent retail stores across the UK and Ireland, the Fed has recently recruited a number of key positions from the region, including new Chief Operating Officer Graham Stafford.  Now, nearly 60 staff operate out of the Durham head office.

Commenting on the acquisition, Mr Stafford said: “We are delighted to have completed the purchase of Bede House and this move reflects the Fed’s significant investment in the region since relocating nearly three years ago.

“The Fed has a long history of supporting independent retailers and they need our help and support more than ever.”

The Fed’s National President Jason Birks, who runs a shop in Peterlee, County Durham, said: “It was a historic occasion when the Fed moved our head office out of London and to Durham. This significant step was taken following a review of our business, and it reflected our commitment to provide high-quality support and services to independent retailers.

“Buying Bede House secures our future in Durham and is a proud new chapter in our 103-year history.  It will allow us to push ahead with our strategic plans to further enhance the Fed to help make members money, save them money, and find easier ways to do business.”

Durham Group Estates was represented by DWF Law and the Fed was advised by Carter Towler (Durham Office) and EMG Solicitors.

Bede House is fully occupied with Azets and Bruker UK as tenants.

Lord Wrigglesworth, Chairman Durham Group Estates with the new defibrillator

Durham Group Estates supports Red Sky Foundation

Durham Group Estates has supported the Red Sky Foundation by funding the supply and installation of a defibrillator at Belmont Business Park.

The life saving device is available for all businesses, residents and the local community to use as it is prominently situated on the outside of Portland House.

Gurpreet Singh Jagpal, Chief Executive of Durham Group Estates said “Over the years I have been aware and impressed with the work Sergio and his team have done in supporting and improving the life of cardiac patients who are born with or develop heart conditions. They providing lifelong support to them and their families and our small contribution is a way of helping Red Sky raise awareness of heart conditions and also provide a life saving device for use by the local community”.