Durham has received a significant boost after plans for a £200 million mixed-use scheme in the north-east city were given the green light.

Banks Group, a developer based in the area, saw its proposals for the rejuvenation of the Mount Oswald site in Durham City approved by Durham County Council's planning committee. The company stated that it will see the creation of executive housing, an education quarter, both formal and informal public open spaces as well as a wide range of amenities for the community. It is also due to stimulate employment in Durham with 220 local jobs due to be made available, this encompasses both the construction phase and across the supply chain.

Officials at the developer have stated that it will be allocating £4.2 million to pay for substantial improvements for the local community. The scheme has been designed by Banks in line with the council's vision of Durham City and is designed to be a major driver of economic growth throughout the area. On top of the 220 jobs due to be created during the construction phase, a further 164 permanent positions will also be made available when the Mount Oswald project is complete.

Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at the Banks Group, said: "The council and its planners should be congratulated for backing this important scheme, which will support hundreds of local jobs, both directly and indirectly, at a time when such employment opportunities are very badly needed, and which will also have an enduring positive impact on the city's retail and housing sectors."

Durham has a high student population as it is home to Durham University which is currently the fifth best institute in the UK, according to the University League Table 2013 which is compiled by The Complete University Guide.

Mr Dowall explained that the Mount Oswald project is also aimed at ensuring that the institute maintains its position as one of the best in the country for years to come.

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