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Masterplan drawn up to regenerate Spennymoor town centre
A NORTH-EAST town is in line for a multi-million pound overhaul designed to unlock its potential as a major centre for jobs, homes, retail and leisure.
Durham County Council’s cabinet will next week be asked approve plans that could see £37m of public money spent on Spennymoor, in County Durham.
The council predicts the scheme could in turn generate a further £276m of private investment in the town over the next three decades.
Focusing on the next five years, the master plan sets out key principles to underpin future development and proposes working with regeneration partnerships, businesses and potential funders to create a vibrant town centre.
It wants to see the town build on existing projects such as Durhamgate, the largest mixed use regeneration scheme in the region, private housing at Whitworth Park and former Merrington Lane factory sites and attract developers to prime locations in the town.
Coun Neil Foster, cabinet member for regeneration and economic development, said: “Spennymoor is an excellent town in which to live and work.
“Good public transport and road links make this town an excellent location for investment and for this reason 14.5 hectares of land is protected for employment and business growth.
“A further five hectares of land at Green Lane is safeguarded for future employment growth.
“Spennymoor is an attractive location offering a range of housing and employment opportunities that have grown around a town centre which provides a good opportunity for retail and other businesses.”
One of the biggest issues facing the council will be to deal with the Festival Walk shopping area, which has changed ownership regularly over the last decade and is currently in administration.
Politicians, residents and retailers have long called for action to revitalise the 1960s precinct, which is rundown with a large number of empty units.
The master plan identifies it as a major opportunity for redevelopment which could boost the whole town and existing traders and does not rule out its demolition.
Land in Cheapside, Spennymoor
Other sites eyed for redevelopment include vacant land on Cheapside, the former gasworks site at the A688 gateway to the town, an old depot on Villiers Road, The North Eastern pub, The Cube nightclub and an underused tyre depot on Barnfield Road.
The county council has consulted with a range of partners, including Spennymoor Town Council, while drawing up the plan.
It will be considered at County Hall, in Durham, on Wednesday September 18.
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