Newgate Street, Bishop Auckland
Newgate Street, Bishop Auckland © Durham County Council
Newgate Street, Bishop Auckland © Durham County Council

Bishop Auckland Heritage Action Zone

Bishop Auckland's Heritage Action Zone has been established to revitalise the historic market town and to help regenerate it as a vibrant place for locals, businesses and visitors.

The Heritage Action Zone will build on major investment at Auckland Castle which is transforming the traditional home of the Durham Prince Bishops into an international faith, art and heritage destination.

The historic market town, in County Durham, is undergoing a five-year programme that aims to reinvigorate the historic marketplace and high streets (including Newgate Street and Fore Bondgate) plus other parts of the conservation area, including Auckland Castle and its park.

Working in partnership with Durham County Council, the Brighter Bishop Auckland Regeneration Partnership and local people through an advisory group, we aim to strengthen the town's economic, social and cultural regeneration through grants, specialist support, community events and other activity.

How the Bishop Auckland Heritage Action Zone will help

The Heritage Action Zone will:

  • Tackle heritage at risk and look at buildings that have suffered from years of vacancy and retail decline.
  • Carry out historic building assessments to help understand and record the condition of key buildings
  • Deliver conservation and regeneration projects focusing on urgent repairs.

Other projects are in progress to rejuvenate public spaces and help to bring empty floor space back into use.

The partnership is working together to offer opportunities to develop heritage skills training and Heritage Schools resources, alongside projects involving local people to promote and interpret the area's rich history and architectural legacy.

Stay up to date

Below you can find just some of the progress being made in the Bishop Auckland Heritage Action Zone. For more, follow us on Twitter @HistoricEngland and check Durham County Council's website.

  • An engagement and training programme has been running, connecting the community to local heritage. An annual Heritage and History Festival in September is fast becoming a mainstay of the local calendar
  • West Mural Tower was restored in 2018-19 from a dangerous ruin to a useable building, grant-aided by a repair grant from Historic England
  • A new listed building has been designated to protect the much-loved local bakery, Gregory’s, a surprisingly intact former butcher’s shop. 13 listed building entries on the National Heritage List for England have been updated
  • Two handsome Victorian water fountains have been restored and their stories displayed on boards nearby

Work tackling long-term vacant property continues. Through a partnership scheme with Durham County Council, grants are available for priority historic buildings. We need viable solutions for the former Mechanics Institute, the former Temperance Hall, properties on the north and west side of Market Place and listed buildings like the former Bar Mondo on Fore Bondgate in order to remove Bishop Auckland Conservation Area from the Heritage at Risk Register.

Research published 

Online map tours

History of Bishop Auckland

Get involved

We're calling on you to help us better understand and record the history of Bishop Auckland's best buildings. If you'd like to share information about the history of the town or specific buildings, or would like to know more about our research, please contact [email protected].

We also invite you to add your knowledge and pictures of listed places to the Missing Pieces Project. Every snapshot and story you share is an important piece of the picture. And the more pieces of the picture we have, the better we can work together to protect what makes these places special.

Contribute to the Missing Pieces Project

North East Office

  • Address

    Bessie Surtees House,
    41 - 44 Sandhill,
    Newcastle upon Tyne,

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