COUNCIL chiefs have unveiled multi-million pound plans to regenerate Durham’s struggling North Road, including a new £6.2m bus station.

Durham County Council wants to demolish the existing bus station and build a new facility nearby, as well as replacing the North Road roundabout with a through road and junction.

Planners also hope to attract a new “anchor store” for the area, helping to create a suitable gateway to the city and World Heritage Site for people arriving by bus or train.

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The proposals will go before the council’s cabinet meeting on Wednesday (April 16), which will also debate a delayed Durham City Masterplan.

Councillor Neil Foster, the council’s cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “These are exciting plans which will transform Durham into a world class city.

“The potential impact on the economy for County Durham from the overall package of these proposals will make a step change to its competitiveness globally.”

On the North Road project, he added: “This will help bring about a comprehensive improvement to the wider area, attracting private investment to establish an improved retail offer.”

Elvet and Gilesgate councillor David Freeman said North Road and the bus station had been in desperate need of regeneration for many years.

“The street is presently not fit as the gateway to our city.

“These proposals, while too long delayed, will be very welcome.

“This will hopefully kick start the wider regeneration of North Road. I hope the council will now move forward as fast as possible.”

Consultation sessions will be held in the vacant former Blockbuster video shop, on North Road, on May 1 and 2 from noon to 6pm and May 3 from 10am to 2pm.

The Durham City Masterplan, which was withdrawn from cabinet in September to allow further consultation, brings together numerous proposals, including building new housing estates at Sniperley Park, north of the Arnison Centre, Sherburn Road and Merryoaks; a business hub at Aykley Heads; two new bypasses; redeveloping Freeman’s Reach and Milburngate House; and improving Durham’s tourism offer.

It also makes reference to establishing a new family visitor attraction, although no details are provided.

Officials argue £130m-worth of public sector support could attract £850m of private sector investment.