Economic boost for Bishop Auckland following £33m heritage investment
A new report has shown that a North East town has seen its economy boosted following an investment in local tourist attractions.
The report, by Newcastle firm Lichfields, highlights how £33.2m from the Town Investment Fund into a heritage based strategy in Bishop Auckland has boosted the local economy.
The funding has transformed Auckland Castle into an “internationally significant” visitor attraction and created new cultural hotspots, such as the Faith Museum, Spanish Art Gallery, Mining Art Gallery and Kynren, a theatrical night-time show.
The report said that the opening of Kynren alone has injected £4.5m into the town’s economy.
For towns across the North East and the North overall, the report has shown that six themes underpin strategies to transform towns, including relocating health and wellbeing facilities close to transport hubs, creating more centrally-based education facilities, new tourism and heritage plans, the development of space for new digital and creative industries and repurposing retail space as living space.
Robert Dibden, associate director at Lichfields Newcastle office, said: “The challenges faced by North East town centres are well-documented and there is no doubt they have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“However, there are many positives on the horizon and our research points to a strong, vibrant and successful future for those northern towns that take advantage of the funding streams and pursue exciting and innovative strategies designed to transform the heart and soul of our high streets.”
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