Together the transformation of Auckland Castle and Eleven Arches Trusts’ projects are forecast to bring a £20m a year economic boost to Bishop Auckland and the surrounding area, and local businesses are already taking the advantage of the increase in tourism.
Sisters’ Becci Nye and Alicia Teasdale brushed aside their initial thoughts to open their 1950s themed tearoom elsewhere in County Durham, after hearing of the plans.
Becci said: “We just got it. We knew we wanted to be in at the start of what is going to be an amazing transformation for the town, and were persuaded that Bishop Auckland was the right place to open the Fifties Vintage Tearoom.
“We see a bright future for the town. We know there is going to be some disruption while all the work is underway, but we are prepared to ride the storm for a year or two as we believe it is going to be good for Bishop Auckland, that the tourists will come, and that we will get people through the door.”
Ann Golightly, mayor of Bishop Auckland, said there was now a real sense that something special was happening in the town. She said: “An air of optimism has replaced the gloom and depression of the recent recession. There is genuine excitement and positivity around the town in general and particularly the town centre.”
Liz Fisher, Auckland Castle Trust’s Operations Director, said: “After nearly three years of planning and hard work, it is pleasing to see both the Auckland Castle Trust and the Eleven Arches Trust’s ambitious proposals coming to fruition.
“We are all hugely excited by what the future holds. These combined projects are a chance to do something exceptional for Bishop Auckland.
“They go to the heart of not just bringing our cultural and artistic history to life for visitors, but the Auckland Castle and Eleven Arches Trusts’ joint desire to act as a catalyst for the economic regeneration of the town in which they both stand.”
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