A Darlington property development has been sold in a £23.45m deal.
The new owner of Lingfield Point is a fund managed by Clearbell, a private real estate fund management business which aims to build on the success of the site as a regional mixed use hub.
The purchase marks the second significant County Durham deal for Clearbell, having acquired The Gates shopping centre in Durham in July in a £12m deal.
Current owner Marchday transformed Lingfield Point from a disused, semi-derelict Patons and Baldwins wool factory to a sought-after business postcode within the region.
The combined businesses employ more than 2,500 people and facilities include an on-site “canteen” bistro and the Little Lingfields child care nursery.
The director of Marchday, which bought Lingfield Point in 1998, said they felt the rime was right to sell having successfully executed their growth plans over the last 16 years.
Marchday director John Orchard said: “Lingfield Point is a really special place and we wanted everything to be just right, not a pale reflection of our initial aspirations, and I can honestly say we have achieved that.
“Last year also saw the opening of the first new homes at Lingfield Point, which was the fulfilment of our ambition of turning the clock back to people living on site again as they did in the heyday of Patons and Baldwins.
“It has been part of our lives for so long that this was not an easy decision to make – however, it is the right one. It is time to pass on the baton.”
The sale will see Clearbell pick up the baton and take the site to the next phase of the masterplan.
Dominic Moore, Clearbell’s asset management director, said: “The unique personality of Lingfield Point is one of the things that make it such an interesting addition to Clearbell’s portfolio – and the aim is to ensure that it not only remains intact but is also built upon.
“Clearbell will continue the creativity around the 90-acre site and hopes that, with ongoing investment, Lingfield Point will become a flagship for successful regeneration in the North East – continuing to position Darlington as a great base for business.
“There will be no fundamental changes - the same onsite team will ensure the outstanding service standard is maintained and delivered with Lingfield Point’s typical flourish of creativity and quirkiness.”