Old East Durham College Building in Peterlee to be Demolished

Work to demolish the old East Durham College building in Peterlee is due to begin this week, eight years after the college moved to its new premises on Willerby Grove.

After its closure, the land the old building rests upon was sold to Tesco, who planned to open a new superstore and create 400 new jobs for the Peterlee area. These plans, unfortunately, didn't go ahead and the building has been left to fall into disrepair.

Tesco has tried in recent years to sell the land on, but has struggled to find investors due to the East Durham Library, which is still part of the college, remaining open for use by the public. Durham County Council held talks this July with Tesco to reach an agreement on what to do with the land - Tesco would then pay £846,000 to purchase the library.

Durham County Council now plans to use this money, along with a further £1m of council funding, to develop a new library and facilities within Peterlee Leisure Centre. This now frees up the land of the old college for demolition, with plans to start work from October 2nd 2017.

Tesco spokesman Mark Thomas said: “We’re pleased to be moving ahead with the demolition of the former college site in Peterlee and thank the council for its constructive approach.

“This is part of efforts to sell the site in order that it can be brought back into use.

“We’re grateful for the patience of the local community in the meantime and hope to start work in the week commencing October 2nd.”

Contractor GBM will be responsible for carrying out the demolition work.

In an application of notice to the local authority, GBM said: “The works will be undertaken in two phases due to the library building in the south east corridor of the site being open to the public until January 2018.

“Once this is closed the building will have an asbestos survey undertaken.

“The structures to be demolished are generally in good repair and will be demolished.”

It's unknown at this point what the land will be used for in the future, but it's with a pang of sadness we wave goodbye to our old home.