£12m mixed-use development to transform wasteland between Kingsway and Newgate Street.
Planning consent has been granted and work is about to start to transform a section of derelict land in the centre of Bishop Auckland into a vibrant new greenspace area, called Kingsway Square, with car parking, electric vehicle charging, cycle storage and attractive retail-fronted access directly into Newgate Street, the town’s main shopping street.
Designed to encourage footfall into the town centre, Kingsway Square will feature ‘urban garden’-style landscaped recreation and pedestrianised areas, with ambient lighting and outdoor seating, as well as a children’s play area, creating an attractive and safe gateway to Bishop Auckland’s existing retailers, businesses and attractions.
Surrounded by buildings of historical importance, such as the Mechanics Institute and the Masonic Hall, Kingsway Square will revitalise approximately 3,000m² of disused land and buildings, while preserving the surrounding architecture, to create a safe and modern retail and residential development in keeping with the town, where people can visit, live, work, dine and shop.
Vehicular access to Kingsway Square will be via Kingsway and the creation of approximately 70 short-stay parking spaces, for local residents and visitors, will support the planned improvements to Bishop Auckland’s transport infrastructure.
Kingsway Square, and its surrounding mixed-use private developments, is a £12 million joint initiative between regeneration charity, The Auckland Project; Durham County Council and private sector developers; and is made possible by the UK government’s Future High Streets Fund and Stronger Towns Fund, which aims to renew and reshape town centres and high streets to drive growth, improve experience and ensure future sustainability.
David Maddan, Chief Development Officer at The Auckland Project says: “We are delighted to be working alongside Durham County Council and the private sector to revitalise this derelict piece of land in the heart of Bishop Auckland. Kingsway Square will be an attractive mixed-use community right in the heart of the town, which will drive more footfall to our local businesses and attractions.”
Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “This project is an exciting step forward in our ambitious plans to regenerate Bishop Auckland and we’re delighted to be a part of it.
“Once complete, Kingsway Square will provide a welcoming space supporting current businesses in the town by increasing footfall to Newgate Street and attracting new ones with its modern retail offer.
“It forms an integral part of our investment plans for reinvigorating the north end of the town and compliments the £192 million being invested to improve transport connections, create brand new commercial and leisure facilities and develop significant cultural attractions.”