• Tue. Jun 25th, 2024

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

203Cabinet will hear an update on the range of exciting plans for Bishop Auckland and how Durham County Council is supporting them when members meet next week.

Information will be provided on projects being delivered by the Auckland Castle Trust (ACT) and Eleven Arches Trust (EAT) which include the restoration of the castle, historic walled garden and construction of the Welcome Building with a 27 metre high viewing platform among many others. This is in addition to the Eleven Arches open air attraction itself.

Together these projects are expected to create the equivalent of 200 full time jobs, 500 indirect jobs, 300 training opportunities and 800 volunteering opportunities as well as provide a huge boost to the local economy. To support this, Cabinet will be asked to approve a range of measures including proposals on the futures of North Bondgate car park and Auckland Castle Park.

Following a consultation which saw overwhelming support from the public, Cabinet will be asked to approve proposals to expand and improve North Bondgate car park before the ACT take over responsibility for its ongoing operation and management. After some initial reservations, local businesses also supported the plan following reassurances from the ACT to ensure some space for use by residents and local shoppers, and employ car park attendants to greet visitors with information about what the town has to offer.

Cabinet are also being asked to agree to an early surrender of the council’s lease on Auckland Castle Park to the Trust to further support their plans. The park is already owned by the Trust with Auckland Castle’s grounds sitting within the land. The surrender is conditional upon free access to the park for the public being maintained. 

Cllr Neil Foster, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economic regeneration and culture, said: “The range of exciting plans for Bishop Auckland is a once in a lifetime opportunity to provide a massive boost for the town in both jobs and the local economy. The work of the Auckland Castle Trust and Eleven Arches Trust promise an event and tourist destination like nothing else in the country and as a council we are delighted to support their work and the benefits it will bring to the whole county.”

Other measures will also see the council’s regeneration masterplan refreshed in the near future with the council seeking strong local input to shape this key piece of work. In addition, the council will continue to work in partnership with the Trusts on the town’s tourism and cultural offer, such as the event programme for Bishop Auckland Town Hall and the Bishop Auckland Food Festival.

Cabinet meets at the Witham, in Barnard Castle, on Wednesday, 21 October.

By admin