New plans for Festival Walk to be unveiled

Festival Walk shopping precinct in Spennymoor

Regeneration plans for an outdated County Durham shopping precinct are coming to consultation.

Festival Walk, located in the heart of Spennymoor’s town centre, is set to be redeveloped as part of ongoing regeneration work across the county.

Durham County Council will host a joint pre-planning public consultation along with the potential developers Hellens Group and ALDI, from 10am on Thursday, 18 July at Spennymoor Town Hall. This will provide an opportunity for residents and local businesses to review and comment on the exciting new proposals at the earliest opportunity.

The previous owners of the site went into administration just over ten years ago and in that time the council has been working with Cordatus, the site’s managing agent, to identify a main retailer for the site. The plans set to be unveiled will see much of the Festival Walk parade, and the adjacent former Kingfisher Public House and its surrounding car parking area redeveloped.

The proposals which have already been announced would see the council invest over £600,000 to purchase and demolish a section of the site. This would lead to the creation of a new town centre car park and the improvement of local road junctions to allow better access to the area.

Hellens Group will take over the majority of the site, demolishing a large part of the existing shopping centre to create one new larger ALDI store that would replace the current one in Spennymoor, which ALDI has said it has outgrown. The remaining units will be refurbished to provide more modern retail space in keeping with current retailer requirements.

Cllr Carl Marshall, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “The redevelopment of Festival Walk has long been a priority of both residents and businesses in Spennymoor. This has been a complex process and we’re finally ready to reveal our plans to transform this important site.

“As part of our commitment to regenerating our towns and villages we have been working closely with Hellens Group, Aldi and the administrators to make sure this scheme comes to fruition and continues the ongoing programme of investment and redevelopment across Spennymoor.”

Simon Plumb, property director for ALDI, commented: “We are delighted to be part of this major regeneration of Festival Walk parade. We want to provide Spennymoor with a new purpose-built food store that meets the high expectations of our customers and are excited to be part of the wider regeneration of the town.”

Gavin Cordwell-Smith, chief executive of Hellens Group, said: “Hellens Group is delighted to be leading the regeneration of Festival Walk. We are also looking forward to working closely with Durham County Council to deliver a scheme which will significantly improve the shopping experience in Spennymoor.”

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