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Durham University Business School: Waterside

Image of a large modern building with water in the foregroundStatus: Purchase complete, refurbishment underway

Durham University acquired the Waterside Building in Durham City from Durham County Council as a future location for our world-class Business School on Monday 31 October 2022.

This will ensure our Business School will continue to thrive. It will also bring significant economic benefits for the city, county and region.

We are making very good progress with the project and continue to engage with our Business School staff and students as plans develop.


  • The Waterside building was completed for Durham County Council in February 2022 and provides approximately 10,000sqm of accommodation
  • Initial phase of staff engagement until September 2022
  • Durham University purchased the building in October 2022
  • Continuing engagement during the design phase from October 2022
  • Refurbishment business case considered and approved by Council in July 2023
  • Refurbishment work began November 2023
  • First phased move from Mill Hill Lane planned for late summer 2024

Latest update

A transformative step

The enhancement to our Business School facilities marks a transformative step, positioning us as a dynamic hub for entrepreneurship, innovation, and knowledge exchange. By working more closely with local businesses and partners, we are poised to make a lasting impact within the region and beyond.

Next steps for Waterside

This summer, our Department of Management and Marketing and most professional services staff in the Business School will move to the Waterside building, marking a significant milestone in enhancing the School’s facilities and reputation. Staff from the Departments of Accounting, Economics, and Finance will remain at Mill Hill Lane for a transitional period but will also use the Waterside building. Planning is underway to consider options for the future use of the released space at Mill Hill Lane.

Enhanced facilities for our Business School students

All teaching for the MBA, DBA, and Executive Education programmes will be at Waterside. All other students will also benefit from the new learning, teaching, and study spaces at Waterside, while other locations around our estate will continue to be used for their teaching. The Waterside will provide accessible resources and study spaces for all Business School students.

Community activity

We appointed Overbury as a contractor for the refurbishment of Waterside. In alignment with our commitment to the local community and fostering future talent, we partnered with them to host a Hoarding Design Competition.

Graphic Design students from Durham Sixth Form Centre were invited to design hoarding panels for the construction site. The competition was launched through sessions led by Shereen Young, Head of Proposals & Multimedia from Overbury, and Katrina Savage, Senior Marketing Manager. The winning design, by Carrie Edwards, is now displayed on-site. Other collaborative social value activities include career advice sessions, and various activities with our Volunteer Programme.

Read more about our Community engagement activities

Visiting the Waterside

The Waterside is in the heart of Durham City Centre, on the banks of the River Wear, next to HM Passport Office and opposite the Radisson Blu Hotel. Once the building is fully operational, all University staff are welcome to visit. Further information on when and how to do this will be available ahead of the building's opening for the new academic year. The building contains a cafe and coffee facilities that will be open to all staff, students and the public.


Waterside Building

If you're a member of staff at Durham University Business School, visit our SharePoint site for more information