A new STACK entertainment venue will be built in Bishop Auckland as part of a vision to revitalise the town centre. 

Plans for the new site on Newgate Street, near the Market Place, were approved on Thursday and involve demolishing the former butcher’s shop and former WH Smith store on the town’s main shopping street.

A new 'social hub' will then be built, with a selection of bars and street food operators around a central ‘plaza’ area. Offering daily live entertainment and a platform for local businesses, STACK intends to add vibrancy and a contemporary twist not experienced previously in the town.

The first-floor area will create space for a series of tables and benches surrounding an atrium overlooking the stage and plaza below. The second floor/ roof level will consist of extra space with tables and benches served by one bar and will overlook Newgate Street.

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The Northern Echo: It is hoped the new development will pave the way for further investment in the town centre It is hoped the new development will pave the way for further investment in the town centre (Image: SARAH CALDECOTT)

Detailed design plans of the development will be released in due course. 

Developers say the venue will generate 75 new jobs while also increasing and encouraging tourism. A second site is also planned to open in Durham city centre and follows the company's two sites in Newcastle and Sunderland.

Bishop Auckland cllr Sam Zair praised the impact it will have on neighbouring businesses and jobs. “These sites have been an eyesore for too long. This will send a message out that Bishop Auckland is a town going places.”

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Neill Winch, chief executive of Danieli Group, which owns STACK, hailed the projects as exciting for the area.

He said: “Bishop Auckland is a town where we know we can contribute to local culture, jobs, enterprise, tourism and communities. We are in the business of transforming places, and we hope to be a catalyst for transformation in County Durham with a combined investment of more than £7 million.

“We believe STACK will be a huge asset in both locations and will also give independent businesses in the area the opportunity to be involved as well as supporting both the day time and night time economy.”