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 Regeneration
Building a better Bishop Auckland for Everyone.
Bishop Auckland Regeneration are building a better Bishop Auckland. Regeneration plans will revitalise our town — transforming our historic home into a bustling 21st century market town where residents and visitors enjoy work, leisure, and life. More than £192 million is being invested in improved transport connections, brand new commercial and leisure facilities, significant cultural attractions and 3,750 new jobs.
Full details of the various regeneration projects, including news and the latest consultations can be found at: www.bishopaucklandregeneration.com.
Town Deal Board (Stronger Towns Board)
The Towns Fund is a £3.6 billion fund established by the government to level up towns and cities around the country. Bishop Auckland was one of 100 places eligible to bid for funding to improve the economy, develop the town and attract jobs and long-term investment.
As part of the scheme the Board were are eligible to bid for up to £25 million in funding that will help deliver a huge economic social and cultural benefit to the town. However the projects identified totalled more than £25 Million. Therefore a larger bid was submitted, and an allocation of £33.2 million has be awarded subject to business cases and project plans.
Further information can be found on the Town Deal Board page of the Durham County Council website.
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 Right 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. Further details can be found on the Durham County Council website.
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.
Further information about the Bishop Auckland Heritage Action Zone can be found on the Historic England website.
Bishop Auckland Town Team
The Town Council was a founding partner of the Bishop Auckland Town Team it had the key aims are to create a vibrant, attractive and thriving town centre. The Town Team was 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.
In July 2021 the Town Team changed their constitution to focus solely on delivery of events in the town, further details can be found on the Bishop Auckland Town Team website.