VISITORS to a County Durham shopping precinct can now take advantage of a new, free car park.

The multi-million-pound redevelopment of Festival Walk in Spennymoor town centre has moved a step closer to completion with the opening of a new car park.

Earlier this year, the former Kwik Save supermarket was demolished to make way for the car park, as part of a major scheme to transform the area into an attractive and modern shopping area.

The car park offers improved accessibility for users, and should encourage more active travel, with spaces for bicycles and motorcycles, as well as electric vehicle charging points.

The Northern Echo: The former Kwik Save building off Festival Walk in Spennymoor. Picture: CHRIS BOOTH

Its development follows a £600,000 investment from Durham County Council, in line with the priorities of its Towns and Villages programme.

With the first phase of the redevelopment now complete, construction is ongoing to create a new and bigger Aldi store, replacing the supermarket’s existing branch.

Meanwhile, developer Hellens Group, which is leading the regeneration of Festival Walk, is due to commence the refurbishment of the remaining units in the new year, to provide an up-to-date retail space to attract new businesses to the town and offer more choice to shoppers.

The council has also started making improvements to the town’s Market Place, in front of Festival Walk, in order to offer a more appealing and welcoming environment to visitors and more flexible space for town centre events.

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Councillor Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “We are delighted to have completed work on the first phase of redevelopment at Festival Walk.

"The new, free to use car park is the first step in helping to attract more visitors and businesses to Spennymoor and improving accessibility.

“Our investment through the Towns and Villages programme, alongside the work of Hellens Group, will help to boost the local economy and will play a vital role in supporting the town’s recovery from the impact of the pandemic.

“It is a fantastic time to offer more town centre parking, with visitors planning their Christmas shopping. This will no doubt provide a welcome boost to businesses in the run up to Christmas, helping to reinstate the area’s reputation as a shopping destination.”

The Towns and Villages strategy is an important part of the council’s regeneration programme and aims to ensure the money spent by the local authority and the services it provides deliver the best possible outcomes for communities across County Durham.

Gavin Cordwell-Smith, chief executive of North East-based developer, Hellens Group, said: “The opening of the car park at Festival Walk marks an important milestone in the development, which will ultimately deliver a greatly enhanced shopping and overall visitor experience.

“We have been pleased to work alongside Durham County Council in leading the regeneration of Festival Walk which, once completed, will deliver an improved public realm and contribute positively to the local economy.”

The new look Festival Walk is expected to reopen to visitors in summer 2022.


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