A series of draft masterplans to enhance the vibrancy of County Durham communities will be discussed by councillors next week.
Durham County Council has accelerated masterplans currently being developed for Newton Aycliffe, Peterlee, Stanley, and Crook, Willington and Tow Law, as part of its Towns and Villages programme.
Together with a new regeneration framework for Durham City and an updated version of the Chester-le-Street Masterplan, the documents set out projects aimed at boosting the prosperity of each location for generations to come.
From improving transport links and infrastructure, including creating new pedestrian and cycle routes; to enhancing leisure facilities, repurposing vacant buildings, expanding employment sites, installing free town centre Wi-Fi, and exploring opportunities to provide more housing – both public and private sector projects are included.
Durham County Council has been preparing masterplans for larger towns in the county for a number of years, as part of its commitment to regeneration and attracting investment.
On Wednesday, November 17, the council’s cabinet will hear the next round of masterplans has been brought forward to support future funding bids and the region’s recovery from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Cabinet will be asked to agree for a public consultation to take place on the draft masterplans for all of the towns from Monday, November 29, to Friday, January 14, next year.
Cllr Elizabeth Scott, the council’s cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “The last 18 months have been incredibly difficult for communities across the country.
“We have a renewed commitment to revitalising towns and villages in County Durham and the impact of the pandemic has made this work more important than ever.
“This latest round of draft masterplans sets out a range of projects tailored to the needs of each town, and all with the power to make a significant and positive difference to residents and businesses.
“We are keen to hear the views of the people who live and work in these towns and the surrounding areas.
“That is why we are asking cabinet to agree to a public consultation so that everyone has the chance to have their say.”
Following the consultation, the final masterplans will support the council and its partners to bid for funding, providing a strategic overview of regeneration plans for the area.
Cabinet will meet on Wednesday, November 17, at 9.30am in County Hall.