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Building Brighter Futures: How Durham County Council is Investing in Thriving Communities



The significance of high-quality housing and dynamic town centres cannot be overstated in County Durham, as they serve as vital catalysts for elevating the well-being of both residents and communities.


Durham County Council’s commitment to creating inclusive and thriving environments is exemplified through various projects aimed at delivering housing solutions and placemaking initiatives.


With a target to construct over 24,800 new homes by 2035, as set out in the County Durham Plan, the focus is on addressing the diverse housing requirements of individuals and families at all life stages. This proactive approach ensures that residents  can access safe, affordable, and high-quality housing options.


Recognising the significance of integrating residential developments with mixed-use centres, substantial investments have been secured through programs like the Towns and Villages Programme, Future High Street Fund, Towns Fund, and Levelling Up Fund. These initiatives aim to enhance town centres by providing residents and visitors diverse amenities, services, and recreational spaces.


Investing in Vibrant Communities: Partnering for Inclusive Growth


Partnerships are being sought to develop high-quality housing and mixed-use town centre projects that will transform neighbourhoods, foster vibrant communities, and drive economic growth. These collaborations present an opportunity to contribute to  enhancing urban areas while supporting community development.


Horden Masterplan


Horden, a coastal town steeped in Durham's mining history, is poised for a remarkable transformation through the Horden Masterplan. This visionary project aims to replace ageing, low-quality housing with a new era of high-quality homes. Alongside this, community facilities will be developed, green spaces enhanced with walking and cycling routes, and considerations for assisted living and commercial units will be integrated. The residential development aligns strategically with the 2020 opening of Horden Station, promising improved connectivity. The Horden Masterplan not only promises a physical facelift but envisions a comprehensive upgrade in the quality of life for its residents, showcasing a commitment to inclusive and sustainable growth.


Peterlee Industrial Estate Regeneration


The North East Industrial Estate in Peterlee, once a stronghold of industry, is now at the forefront of a transition towards residential use. The project, having received planning permission in 2014 for 309 dwellings,  is a testament to the regeneration imperative. Partnerships with DCC and Homes England underscore the collaborative effort required for this monumental shift. Currently, in the crucial phase of finalising section 106 landowner arrangements, the project seeks additional funding for its ongoing delivery. The transformation of this industrial estate into a residential hub symbolises economic diversification and  aligns strategically with the broader Levelling-up agenda, aiming to enhance the standard of living for the local community.


Spennymoor Town Centre Regeneration


Spennymoor, one of the 'overlooked' UK towns, is on the cusp of a renaissance with its Town Centre Regeneration project. Supported by government funding, this initiative involves the formation of a town board, bringing together key stakeholders from the community, employers, local authorities, and the MP. The recent injection of over £7 million has already kickstarted transformative improvements, setting the stage for a comprehensive regeneration program. As the town board takes shape, residents will be consulted on potential future plans, signalling an era of fresh ideas. The project invites commercial partners to invest in various facets, promising a rejuvenation that goes beyond physical infrastructure to address societal and economic well-being.


Prince Bishop Citrus Development


Durham City's Prince Bishops shopping centre, a retail icon since its completion in 1998, is poised for a dynamic redevelopment. The Citrus Development project addresses the challenges posed by global retail trends, exacerbated by the impacts of COVID-19. Plans include the creation of 300 student accommodation units, new leisure attractions, a 130-bedroom hotel, public spaces, and smaller retail units designed to accommodate independent operators. With partners like The Citrus Group and Lichfields, the project is in the advanced stages of design and public consultation, with a secured developer. This redevelopment, expected to contribute significantly to Durham City's economic output, presents a commercial opportunity and  a chance to reshape the city's landscape and create a vibrant, multifunctional space.


Newton Aycliffe


Newton Aycliffe, fuelled by ambition and community spirit, embarks on a comprehensive revitalisation despite the setback of not securing a £20 million grant from the Government Levelling Up Fund. The detailed masterplan, collaboratively crafted with architectural firm Ryder, encompasses three key schemes: high street regeneration, a cultural family attraction, and  enhancing active travel routes.  The town is now actively seeking commercial partners to breathe life into these transformative projects. Newton Aycliffe's resilience shines through, emphasising a community-focused approach and a commitment to shaping a town that thrives on inclusivity, diversity, and improved public spaces. This initiative stands as a testament to the town's determination to create positive change, signalling a bright future driven by local collaboration and innovation.


These projects exemplify a commitment to creating vibrant communities through strategic development initiatives  prioritising inclusivity, sustainability, and economic growth.  Investing in housing and placemaking efforts aim to foster equitable and prosperous environments for all individuals.


Together these projects represent a commitment to delivering high-quality housing and placemaking initiatives that support inclusive growth. By investing in these opportunities, partners contribute  to the physical transformation of these areas and  the well-being and prosperity of the communities they serve. Together, we can create lasting positive impacts and foster sustainable, vibrant, and inclusive urban environments.


Explore further details at www.poweringcountydurham.co.uk or visit the County Durham stand at UKREiif to learn more.

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