Plans are drawn up for regeneration of towns

First published in Durham County Council News

HIGHLIGHTING heritage and improving community facilities are among themajor plans to regenerate two County Durham towns.

Durham County Council has created masterplans for Bishop Auckland and Crook, that will be looked at bymembers of the cabinet committee later this month.

Plans for Bishop Auckland include examining ways to increase the number of visitors to Auckland Castle, which houses the famous Zurbaran paintings, and improving the town's bus and rail networks and hotel accommodation The masterplan also identifies national retailers as a priority and focuses on the possible expansion of The Newgate Centre as an important project.

Councillor Neil Foster, cabinet member for regeneration and economic development at Durham County Council, said: "Bishop Auckland really is one of the jewels in our county's crown.

"There is so much to celebrate there, the palace, the Zurbaran paintings and the Deer House and of course the magnificent town hall building."

Mayor of Bishop Auckland, Councillor John Lethbridge, said: "There is a lot to celebrate in Bishop Auckland and this masterplan will help us take great steps inmaking the most of this historic town both for both residents and visitors."

Other plans for Bishop Auckland include new affordable homes, redevelopment of Kingsway and a customer access point.

Durham County Council has drawn up a regeneration masterplan for Crook, which aims to support retail trade, develop better access in the town centre and improve the town centre environment.

As part of the plan, community groups are to be invited to bid for a share of more than £500,000 to improve facilities.

From nextmonth, the county council will be seeking expressions of interest from community, voluntary and not-for-profit organisations with proposals for community facilities in Crook.

The £568,000 in funding was previously earmarked for Elite Hall.

Other ideas include improving access to services, facilities and shops in the town centre, the creation of new and existing business space for small and medium-sized companies and a possible food retail site in Queen Street.

Coun Foster said: "Crook is a main service centre for the surrounding rural communities. There is a lot of potential for developing town centre retail opportunities, encouraging the building of new housing and supporting business growth.

"We need to ensure that the community are involved with decisions that affect them and that the resources used in Crook produce lasting benefits."

Crook Councillor Eddie Tomlinson, cabinet support member for regeneration and economic development, added: "I am particularly pleased that local people will be able to have a say in how vital funding for community services can be put to the most effective use."

The cabinet will discuss the masterplans next Wednesday.

Comments (8)

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10:00pm Fri 13 Apr 12

John Justice says...

So Bishop Auckland is a "Jewel in the Crown". I came to Bishop Auckland as a teenager in the winter of 1968 and have seen its "Development" as a major retailing hub spiral downwards ever since. I have seen the slow decline of many quality shops while observing a rise in "Value Shops". I have seen and heard the change of personal decency where the sound of the F word and rubbish is common place in the town centre and two people have met violent deaths linked to a local licenced pub. Only a handful of high quality business remains and rumours persist of national businesses refusing to set up in the town while Marks and Spencer are believed to be considering leaving the town in the not to distant future. The development of St Helens as a business park, attracting major retailers to "Out of town " retail parks supported by our Council. Bishop Auckland is a one street town that has slowly disintegrated as a major retailing centre over the years. Parts of the main shopping area recently collapsed and we will soon have a gaping hole in Newgate street. Jewel in the Crown?. I suppose the visitors to view the Zurbarans and those attending the yearly superb Food festival will return home waxing lyrical about the superb shopping centre that is Newgate Street and urge their friends to visit and spend, spend, spend as soon as possible. I think not.
So Bishop Auckland is a "Jewel in the Crown". I came to Bishop Auckland as a teenager in the winter of 1968 and have seen its "Development" as a major retailing hub spiral downwards ever since. I have seen the slow decline of many quality shops while observing a rise in "Value Shops". I have seen and heard the change of personal decency where the sound of the F word and rubbish is common place in the town centre and two people have met violent deaths linked to a local licenced pub. Only a handful of high quality business remains and rumours persist of national businesses refusing to set up in the town while Marks and Spencer are believed to be considering leaving the town in the not to distant future. The development of St Helens as a business park, attracting major retailers to "Out of town " retail parks supported by our Council. Bishop Auckland is a one street town that has slowly disintegrated as a major retailing centre over the years. Parts of the main shopping area recently collapsed and we will soon have a gaping hole in Newgate street. Jewel in the Crown?. I suppose the visitors to view the Zurbarans and those attending the yearly superb Food festival will return home waxing lyrical about the superb shopping centre that is Newgate Street and urge their friends to visit and spend, spend, spend as soon as possible. I think not. John Justice
  • Score: 0

11:31pm Fri 13 Apr 12

D D Coy says...

John Justice wrote:
So Bishop Auckland is a "Jewel in the Crown". I came to Bishop Auckland as a teenager in the winter of 1968 and have seen its "Development" as a major retailing hub spiral downwards ever since. I have seen the slow decline of many quality shops while observing a rise in "Value Shops". I have seen and heard the change of personal decency where the sound of the F word and rubbish is common place in the town centre and two people have met violent deaths linked to a local licenced pub. Only a handful of high quality business remains and rumours persist of national businesses refusing to set up in the town while Marks and Spencer are believed to be considering leaving the town in the not to distant future. The development of St Helens as a business park, attracting major retailers to "Out of town " retail parks supported by our Council. Bishop Auckland is a one street town that has slowly disintegrated as a major retailing centre over the years. Parts of the main shopping area recently collapsed and we will soon have a gaping hole in Newgate street. Jewel in the Crown?. I suppose the visitors to view the Zurbarans and those attending the yearly superb Food festival will return home waxing lyrical about the superb shopping centre that is Newgate Street and urge their friends to visit and spend, spend, spend as soon as possible. I think not.
A roman fort, pyramid, a home possibly the oldest dwelling in the county, a steam railway, Saxon church, further up the road, coal gas was invented, bell pits pock mark the land, romans & vikings, railway history, the other way Bobby Shafto, Brancepeth, back up the road some of the best hamlets & country lanes in the county or even UK, ignored by 99% that pass by, the other way King Canute resided and walked to Durham on his pilgrimage, in ten years it will be 1000 years since that occurred. Canute possibly attempted to stop the tide on the Durham Coast at Blackhall, I once read?

Something is seriously wrong at DCC when it takes a man with £15m to invest in a religious retreat, for it to stand to attention to realise that the County has alot to offer.

Finally, aren't religious retreats supposed to be quiet, tranquil place's? Let's hope that DCC are listening to the new owner & signing from the same hymn sheet as the new owner of Auckland Castle because he's the one calling all of the shot's, DCC are mere spectators jumping on the band wagon, since they first visited Auckland Castle in April 2011 when they took over the running of the Food Festival.

Who are DCC trying to kid? There is no "Masterplan" the make it all up as they go along!
[quote][p][bold]John Justice[/bold] wrote: So Bishop Auckland is a "Jewel in the Crown". I came to Bishop Auckland as a teenager in the winter of 1968 and have seen its "Development" as a major retailing hub spiral downwards ever since. I have seen the slow decline of many quality shops while observing a rise in "Value Shops". I have seen and heard the change of personal decency where the sound of the F word and rubbish is common place in the town centre and two people have met violent deaths linked to a local licenced pub. Only a handful of high quality business remains and rumours persist of national businesses refusing to set up in the town while Marks and Spencer are believed to be considering leaving the town in the not to distant future. The development of St Helens as a business park, attracting major retailers to "Out of town " retail parks supported by our Council. Bishop Auckland is a one street town that has slowly disintegrated as a major retailing centre over the years. Parts of the main shopping area recently collapsed and we will soon have a gaping hole in Newgate street. Jewel in the Crown?. I suppose the visitors to view the Zurbarans and those attending the yearly superb Food festival will return home waxing lyrical about the superb shopping centre that is Newgate Street and urge their friends to visit and spend, spend, spend as soon as possible. I think not.[/p][/quote]A roman fort, pyramid, a home possibly the oldest dwelling in the county, a steam railway, Saxon church, further up the road, coal gas was invented, bell pits pock mark the land, romans & vikings, railway history, the other way Bobby Shafto, Brancepeth, back up the road some of the best hamlets & country lanes in the county or even UK, ignored by 99% that pass by, the other way King Canute resided and walked to Durham on his pilgrimage, in ten years it will be 1000 years since that occurred. Canute possibly attempted to stop the tide on the Durham Coast at Blackhall, I once read? Something is seriously wrong at DCC when it takes a man with £15m to invest in a religious retreat, for it to stand to attention to realise that the County has alot to offer. Finally, aren't religious retreats supposed to be quiet, tranquil place's? Let's hope that DCC are listening to the new owner & signing from the same hymn sheet as the new owner of Auckland Castle because he's the one calling all of the shot's, DCC are mere spectators jumping on the band wagon, since they first visited Auckland Castle in April 2011 when they took over the running of the Food Festival. Who are DCC trying to kid? There is no "Masterplan" the make it all up as they go along! D D Coy
  • Score: 0

8:49am Sat 14 Apr 12

cupid stunt says...

where are all these visitors to crook, who need to spend a penny, going to. the first improvement should be decent public lavatories.
where are all these visitors to crook, who need to spend a penny, going to. the first improvement should be decent public lavatories. cupid stunt
  • Score: 0

10:20am Sat 14 Apr 12

tommy2screws says...

£568000 to regenerate crook town centre !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. WOW, i cant wait to see it. That will buy a few more kebab shops.
£568000 to regenerate crook town centre !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. WOW, i cant wait to see it. That will buy a few more kebab shops. tommy2screws
  • Score: 0

8:37pm Sat 14 Apr 12

pilchrat says...

£568000 ... wouldn't that have kept a much more useful attraction and local facility, eg Glenholme Leisure Complex?!

JESUS. This council shuts things down with one hand to save money, and spends silly amounts on stupid ideas with the other.

The "masterplan" for the seven thousandth time for Bishop is simply free parking and more reasonable rates to attract shops in ... and landlords who maintain the shops properly so they dont fall down causing £thousands in lost business for three chains (Mothercare, WHSmith, Phone4U) *cough* DCC was the landlord there, right?
£568000 ... wouldn't that have kept a much more useful attraction and local facility, eg Glenholme Leisure Complex?! JESUS. This council shuts things down with one hand to save money, and spends silly amounts on stupid ideas with the other. The "masterplan" for the seven thousandth time for Bishop is simply free parking and more reasonable rates to attract shops in ... and landlords who maintain the shops properly so they dont fall down causing £thousands in lost business for three chains (Mothercare, WHSmith, Phone4U) *cough* DCC was the landlord there, right? pilchrat
  • Score: 0

5:41pm Mon 16 Apr 12

Jolly Jonty says...

As regards the proposed Christian Heritage Centre with the Zurbaran paintings,I suspect this will be damp squib with it being well off the tourist track.The tourist people would be better off having a Travellers Horse Fair like Appleby as there is a strong Travelling community in Bishop Auckland
As regards the proposed Christian Heritage Centre with the Zurbaran paintings,I suspect this will be damp squib with it being well off the tourist track.The tourist people would be better off having a Travellers Horse Fair like Appleby as there is a strong Travelling community in Bishop Auckland Jolly Jonty
  • Score: 0

12:21pm Tue 17 Apr 12

holmesc1 says...

Some people say the town centre started to decline when Asda moved to the north of the town centre out of the newgate centre but The final nail in the coffin must be that new retail park at st helens. I know the old Focus site was a eyesore but a simply demolition and minor landscaping would have done the trick in the short term until a cinema was finally built. The town needs a cinema not more out of town shops which will kill the centre further. Never mind wasting all this money the council simply should have turned the retial park down and built a similiar thing on the old ok bus depot and developed bondgate!
Some people say the town centre started to decline when Asda moved to the north of the town centre out of the newgate centre but The final nail in the coffin must be that new retail park at st helens. I know the old Focus site was a eyesore but a simply demolition and minor landscaping would have done the trick in the short term until a cinema was finally built. The town needs a cinema not more out of town shops which will kill the centre further. Never mind wasting all this money the council simply should have turned the retial park down and built a similiar thing on the old ok bus depot and developed bondgate! holmesc1
  • Score: 0

5:31pm Tue 17 Apr 12

fixthecouncil says...

cupid stunt wrote:
where are all these visitors to crook, who need to spend a penny, going to. the first improvement should be decent public lavatories.
about time that happened...why not get them built..they could be built within a week...as long as it was not built by d.c.c...also why not let market traders trade for free on Crook market...it was dead as a door nail on there today....handfull of market traders...also parking issues should be adressed..there is nowhere to park almost any day of the week...council workers who work in the white elephant..whoops i mean the civic centre take up all the market spaces during the week...
Crook should not be the forgotten town....what it needs is new shop not cafes, takeaways, suntan shops and pizza shops...thats all crook has to offer at the moment..also stop all the yyoung people hanging around the streets...we need a gym just take a leaf out of tow law, they have a community run gym run totally by volunteers...
Crook also needs to get the police raid all the drug dealers on watergate estate and especially low mown meadows which are both full of them...but police are not interested in that...Crook used to be a great place to live but not now..going in decline...people of Crook need to have these things sorted out before we can move forward...
lets wait and see what happens...
[quote][p][bold]cupid stunt[/bold] wrote: where are all these visitors to crook, who need to spend a penny, going to. the first improvement should be decent public lavatories.[/p][/quote]about time that happened...why not get them built..they could be built within a week...as long as it was not built by d.c.c...also why not let market traders trade for free on Crook market...it was dead as a door nail on there today....handfull of market traders...also parking issues should be adressed..there is nowhere to park almost any day of the week...council workers who work in the white elephant..whoops i mean the civic centre take up all the market spaces during the week... Crook should not be the forgotten town....what it needs is new shop not cafes, takeaways, suntan shops and pizza shops...thats all crook has to offer at the moment..also stop all the yyoung people hanging around the streets...we need a gym just take a leaf out of tow law, they have a community run gym run totally by volunteers... Crook also needs to get the police raid all the drug dealers on watergate estate and especially low mown meadows which are both full of them...but police are not interested in that...Crook used to be a great place to live but not now..going in decline...people of Crook need to have these things sorted out before we can move forward... lets wait and see what happens... fixthecouncil
  • Score: 0

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