A TOWN could finally get its first cinema after years of slow development and setbacks.

Bishop Auckland has been promised a cinema for some time but now development is starting to gain momentum.

There have been talks of a cinema complex in area of Tindale, with a developer now buy up land to secure its future.

The Tindale development will comprise of a seven-screen multiplex cinema, a multi-lane bowling and laser quest centre, a 24/7 gym, five restaurants, along with a considerable range of national retailers and local operators.

In total, including the cinema, bowling and other tenant units, around £50Million is being invested in the site, with the creation of 475 jobs.

Fieldon Bridge Developments are the driving force behind the 150,000 square foot Retail and Leisure Park on the 14-acre site, which sits on the east side of the current Tindale retail park.

To date, several million pounds of investment have been committed by the developer.

The developer is working closely with the Officers at the Council to help make the scheme a reality.

It is expected that work will start on the site towards the end of 2021, with a grand public opening at the end of 2022.

The developers also recently acquired the site just off the bypass where the premier Inn and other buildings are located.

The empty showroom, that stood on the site now houses the new and attractive Cazoo showroom following a £500,000 face lift.

In addition a further £250,000 has been spent on the Enterprise Rent a Car site on refurbishment.

This follows on from a recent building program by Premier Inn with a £2M extension and refit.

Finally, £250,000 will shortly to be spent on the former hand car wash site, to convert that into a state of the art children’s soft play centre.

The site at Tindale, provides many services and activities to the people of Bishop Auckland and the wider south Durham area.

The town recently received a government grant through the “Future High Street” fund.

The fund will provide just under £20m of grant funding, which will see changes and improvements to the high street and supporting areas.

In addition Bishop Auckland were invited to submit a bid for Stronger Towns funding, this program is aimed at investing in infrastructure and projects that can allow the town to grow and develop into a “town for the 2030” and beyond.

The board submitted a request for funding of £46m, in January this year, the project is a three-to-four-year program with the award being made towards the middle of this year. This money if approved, will help develop the wider areas of the town, including improvements to the road infrastructure at Tindale enabling more to be done in that area.

Durham County Councillor Rob Yorke, who has backed the project since the beginning said: “Back in November plans were submitted for a three screen cinema and accompanied food chains inside the Newgate Centre, these plans have since been approved.

“We are also continuing to work closely with the Fieldon Bridge developer and have been for several years. I realise people are frustrated and we all want one of these schemes to start.

“DCC Cabinet will discuss later this month plans for a new £20m leisure centre and I’m hoping if this is approved then they will choose St Helen Auckland – next to Bishop Auckland FC, as the preferred site.

“If both schemes are then developed this would then offer a fantastic retail and leisure offering.

“We can see the future for Bishop Auckland looks bright.”

David Madden Chief Exec of the Auckland Project: “We are hoping the that this development will complement each other.

“We are expecting a lot more people on staycation who will come and stay in a hotel, go into the town centre and use this new leisure facility.

"It shows really positive growth in the area and there will be a lot more to come. "