RESIDENTS and businesspeople in a town will finally get to see– and share their thoughts on– regeneration plans for an outdated shopping precinct next week.

Festival Walk, in Spennymoor, will be redeveloped as part of ongoing regeneration work across County Durham.

Durham County Council will host a joint pre-planning public consultation with potential developers, Hellens Group and ALDI, at Spennymoor Town Hall on Thursday, July 18, from 10am.

The event aims to give people a chance to review and comment on the proposals, which would see the council invest more than £600,000 to buy and demolish part of the site. This would lead to the creation of a new car park and road alterations.

The previous owners of the site went into administration a decade ago and the council said that in that time it has worked with Cordatus, the site’s managing agent, to identify a main retailer for the site.

The plans, first mooted in 2016, will see much of the Festival Walk parade and the old Kingfisher pub and car park redeveloped.

Spennymoor's Festival Walk set to be flattened and redeveloped

Hellens Group will take over the majority of the site and pull down a large part of the existing shopping centre to create a new larger ALDI store to replace the current one on the opposite side of the High Street.

Remaining units will be refurbished to provide ‘more modern retail space in keeping with current retailer requirements’.

Cllr Carl Marshall, Durham County Council’s cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “The redevelopment of Festival Walk has long been a priority of both residents and businesses in Spennymoor. This has been a complex process and we’re finally ready to reveal our plans to transform this important site. As part of our commitment to regenerating our towns and villages we have been working closely with Hellens Group, Aldi and the administrators to make sure this scheme comes to fruition and continues the ongoing programme of investment and redevelopment across Spennymoor.”

Gavin Cordwell-Smith, chief executive of Hellens Group, said: “Hellens Group is delighted to be leading the regeneration of Festival Walk. We are also looking forward to working closely with Durham County Council to deliver a scheme which will significantly improve the shopping experience in Spennymoor.”

Simon Plumb, property director for ALDI, said it wants to provide a larger purpose-built food store and is excited to be part of the wider regeneration of the town.