The Town Council identified regeneration of the town centre as a priority soon after it was established in 2007. Like many other towns Bishop Auckland has suffered in the recent recession and changes in our shopping patterns. The Town Council is working with partners, including The Auckland Project, Durham County Council and Kynren, to help influence and co-ordinate regeneration activities.
Key groups are set out below:
Bishop Auckland Town Team
The Town Council was a founding partner of the Town Team and continues to be an invaluable and active member of this important partnership, key aims are to create a vibrant, attractive and thriving town centre.
The Town Team is an open group of local people, businesses, public sector bodies and other interested parties with the objective of working in partnership to regenerate our town.
Anyone with an interest in improving the town centre can attend meetings and become a member of the Town Team. Further details can be found on the Town Teams website at www.bishopaucklandtownteam.org
Brighter Bishop Auckland
The partnership comprises statutory, voluntary and community agencies namely Durham County Council, Auckland Castle Trust, Kynren, South Durham Enterprise Agency, Bishop Auckland College, Bishop Auckland Town Council and Historic England.
The new body is chaired by the Bishop of Durham The Rt Reverend Paul Butler.
The aim of the partnership is to bring about and co-ordinate development in the heart of Bishop Auckland with a view to improving its economic performance, while at the same time maintaining the integrity of its heritage, and social and spiritual life.
The new body is to produce a masterplan for the town centre which will be based on the following vision:
“An ambitious, long term strategic framework for the town centre based on a deliverable masterplan which balances the needs of residents, businesses, visitors and investors alike, to enable the town and its community to capitalise on the opportunity presented by current and emerging developments.”
The first phase of consultation was undertaken at the end of 2017. Further consultation is planned in the coming months.
Heritage Action Zone
Bishop Auckland’s Heritage Action Zone has been established to revitalise our historic market town and to help regenerate it as a vibrant place for locals, businesses and visitors. It will build on major investment at Auckland Castle which is transforming the traditional home of the Durham Prince Bishops into an international faith, art and heritage destination.
The town will undergo a 5 year programme that aims to reinvigorate the market place and high streets plus other parts of the conservation area, including Auckland Castle and its park.
Working in partnership with Durham County Council, the Brighter Bishop Auckland Regeneration Partnership and local people through an advisory group, it aims to strengthen the town’s economic, social and cultural regeneration through grants, specialist support, community events and other activity.
The Bishop Auckland Heritage Action Zone will:
- Tackle heritage at risk and look at buildings that have suffered from years of vacancy and retail decline.
- Carry out historic building assessments to help understand and record the condition of key buildings
- Deliver conservation and regeneration projects focusing on urgent repairs.
Other projects are planned to rejuvenate public spaces and help to bring empty floor space back in to use.
The partnership will work together to offer opportunities to develop heritage skills training and Heritage Schools resources, alongside projects involving local people to promote and interpret the area’s rich history and architectural legacy.