Book Classes Online Newton Aycliffe
Book Classes Online Newton Aycliffe

Book Classes Online Newton Aycliffe

Book Classes Online Newton Aycliffe – With empty shops and shuttered windows along Beveridge Way, Newton Aycliffe town center has seen busy days.

Lower rents, events and even a new center in another location are all being touted as options to inject some life into the heart of the town.

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No wonder it’s a topic on many people’s lips ahead of Durham County Council elections on May 6.

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Candidates can make big promises on the issue, but as the town center is privately owned by property investors Freshwater Group, county councilors have no direct control over what happens around Beveridgeway.

That said, the future of the town center took a back seat when we asked readers at Newton Aycliffe what questions they would ask the candidates.

And even if county councilors can’t directly determine rent or regeneration, the candidates have plenty of ideas that could affect the centre’s prospects.

Churchill House and the main ramp were demolished in the 2010s in a long-awaited multi-million pound refurbishment following an informal partnership between owners Freshwater Group and the public sector, including Durham County Council.

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But despite the investment, some 19 empty shops in Beveridge Way are currently listed for lease with agent Smith Price RRG.

With Argos closing next month and Barclays closing its branch in June, many shoppers fear for the future of the town centre.

Of course, Covid-19 and the rise of online shopping play a role. But many in the town claim high rents, privatization and better shops in nearby Darlington and Bishop Auckland are also to blame.

He added that many factors played a role in opening new stores, including business rates and how much risk a business faces in a turbulent market.

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Town center manager Paul Smith said: “I can assure you that letting agents, landlords and ourselves are working extremely hard to encourage more retailers to come to the town and this fact Not through that the rents are too high.”

It’s hard to lure in big names. B&M, Primark, Marks and Spencer, Pret a Manger, Costa Coffee, Claire’s Accessories and Matalan were among 139 firms asked if they would like to set up shop in Newton Icliffe in 2015.

There was virtually no interest. Only one – a clothing retailer – said they would be interested in a town center shop. Of the few brands that responded, some said the retail offer needed to be improved first, according to a study by Greater Aycliffe Town Council.

Durham County Council has pumped cash into other towns such as Consett and Sacriston, and invested in Newton Aycliffe town center facilities it controls – the library and leisure centre.

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But because the authority has no direct control over the town center as a whole, some fear the area could miss out on further public investment and improvements.

So as Newton Aycliffe prepares to go to the polls, ask your Durham County Council candidates how they can encourage growth and improvement in Newton Aycliffe town centre.

We reached out to all the candidates or their representatives. Those not featured did not respond in time for publication. You can see the full list of candidates for Durham County Council in our guide.

Jim Atkinson (Labour): Declining retail interest is a big issue for local residents. I will contact the current owners to see how they plan to revive and regenerate the outlets.

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John Grant: (Reform UK) The development of our town center is very important because many shops are empty. The cost of renting these units is expensive in these tough economic times. If elected I will encourage the landlords of these shops to reduce rents and help develop Newton Aycliffe town center with free parking.

John Clare (Labour): Town centers are privately owned in a free market economy. Durham County Council (DCC) has no power or authority to direct its decisions or operations. DCC offers extensive support to retail businesses:

DCC has recently undertaken £3.5 million improvements to the leisure center and is currently developing a multi-million pound leisure strategy which will include improved services at the centre.

Jade Hillary (Labour): First and foremost, something needs to be done about the failing town centre. However, I recognize that this is outside the Council’s jurisdiction. London-based landlords appear to be making no effort to encourage new businesses to take up retail units in the town. The more units that close, the less attractive the area becomes and the high rent levels seem to discourage potential business owners.

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I also recognize that the ease of shopping online is also affecting high street shops. As a new post-war city it has not developed in the same way as Milton Keynes or Telford. While the industrial area has grown and workers have flocked to the city, the infrastructure for the population has stagnated and declined. Perhaps the answer lies in a newly developed town center sometime in the future. However, this will require significant investment and a vision for the town’s future. As a county councilor I will highlight this issue and seek the support of the cabinet member responsible for regeneration.

Tony Stubbs and David Sutton-Lloyd (Conservatives): The town center and other retail in our area is a major concern for all our residents. Recent announcements of local closures of both Barclays Bank and now the Argos facility highlight this. The background is not good. South Durham has suffered from a long history of poor retail planning under Labour, despite Newton Aycliffe being a major town in the area.

This is another unique opportunity for all progressive parties to come together to develop a radical sustainable new solution. We must consider the changing habits of society and decide the type of retail outlets, social and recreational facilities that will be sustainable.

Sticking tape and a coat or two of paint on existing facilities won’t do. Substantial investment is required. This could be a major project for our region to match the funds promised by the government. Our role as local councilors will be to campaign hard for projects like this which will benefit the residents of Newton Aycliffe and the surrounding areas.

Barrington Road, Newton Aycliffe

George Gray (Independent): By getting rid of private landlords who are off-site and lowering rates for businesses.

Eddie Adam (Labour): The town center should be an important hub for the community, be it for shopping, entertainment or events. Town and county councils have worked with town center management and played a major role in the development of the current town form. More needs to be done but, the current retail market is very volatile, as can be seen from the current number of vacant properties. Aycliffe councilors can make this a key priority by requesting an open dialogue with the town center team to establish a positive way forward.

Elections for Durham County Council, Great Aycliffe Town Council and Durham Constabulary’s Police and Crime Commissioner will take place on May 6. You can find your polling station online.

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