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Durham County Council Chief Executive John Hewitt and Durham University Vice-Chancellor Professor Karen O'Brien seated at a table, signing the refreshed Memorandum of Understanding between the two organisations

We’re proud to be working together with partners for the good of our city, county and region – communities we’ve been part of for nearly 200 years. One key partner is our local authority, Durham County Council, and now we’ve committed to strengthening our already successful partnership.

Raising Durham’s profile around the globe

We’ve been working with the council for many years, and first signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2017 – agreeing to work together to raise the national and international profile of County Durham with governments, businesses and others to attract talent, money and businesses and benefit our county.

Since then, we’ve worked together on:

  • Economic regeneration and development, including our ‘Orbit’ Enterprise Zone at NETPark, a premier science park in County Durham; the development of the Aykley Heads business site in Durham City; and the Durham City Incubator business growth hub;
  • Many cultural events and festivals, including Lumiere light festival, Durham Book Festival, the Durham City Run Festival and Durham Vocal Festival, as well as County Durham’s recently-shortlisted bid to be UK City of Culture 2025, in which both the council and the university are principal partners;
  • Using our world-leading research expertise to enhance quality of life for County Durham residents, particularly focusing on energy; poverty reduction; educational attainment; sports, wellbeing and exercise science; inclusive economic growth; using data analysis and modelling to inform policy-making and delivery; and public health and inequalities.

Strengthening our partnership

Now we’ve refreshed and strengthened our MoU, to reflect current opportunities and facilitate the county’s economic recovery following the coronavirus pandemic.

We’re looking forward to continuing to work together to ‘level up’ our region.

Find out more

Read the Durham University - Durham County Council Memorandum of Understanding, April 2022 
Explore our world-leading and world-changing research
How we’re helping level up our region
Support County Durham’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2025