Bishop Auckland Stronger Towns Logo
Durham County Council Logo

Stronger Towns Fund

The Government launched the £3.6 billion Towns Fund in July 2019 and invited invited 101 places in England to develop proposals for a Town Deal. Towns can bid for up to £25 million to help deliver change and an improvement to the economic fortunes of the area, although bids higher than that may be made in exceptional circumstances.

The Stronger Town Board is seeking to agree proposals for investment in Bishop Auckland with the package of projects expected to be completed by 2026.

The overarching aim of the Towns Fund is to drive the sustainable economic regeneration of towns to deliver long term economic and productivity growth. This will be done through:

  • Urban regeneration
    • Ensuring towns are thriving places for people to live and work, including by:
    • Increasing density in town centres;
    • Strengthening local economic assets including local cultural assets;
    • Site acquisition, preparation, remediation, and/or development; and
    • Making full use of planning tools to bring strategic direction and change.
  • Skills and enterprise infrastructure
    • Driving private sector investment and small business development; and
    • Ensuring towns have the space to support skills and small business development.
  • Connectivity
    • Developing local transport schemes that complement regional and national networks; and
    • Supporting the delivery of improved digital connectivity.

These themes closely align with the priorities identified through the Bishop Auckland masterplan and provide a clear framework to develop projects which will benefit the town, its residents and local businesses.

As part of the Stronger Towns programme government requires a local Board to be established. Meeting regularly since March, the Board is developing, with the community, businesses and stakeholders, a Town Investment Plan to submit to Government. For further details on the board please go to the Stronger Towns Board page.

The Board, supported by the Council, is working with a team led by Genecon economic consultants to help prepare the Town Investment Plan. This includes architects, commercial agents, and specialists in transport/accessibility.

The next page tells you about the vision we have developed for Bishop Auckland as part of the Town Investment Plan.