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Current activities, opportunities and events

Find news and information about support packages, funding and other initiatives currently available to help local retail businesses and town centre economies.

Town centre improvements

We're currently improving, or looking to improve, the town centres in the following locations:


Following Aldi's conformed interest in the redevelopment proposals for Festival Walk, brought forward by Hellen's Constructions, and proposed refurbishment and modernisation of the remaining units, we are seeking to invest in the creation of a new, high quality town centre car park.

We will also be commissioning designs that will seek to improve and regenerate the Market Place.


The development of a new Aldi store and Home Bargains is ongoing, and to link these opportunities to the existing retail areas, we will be continuing to develop and deliver Streetscape and public realm improvements.

Areas will include North of Front Street and links to the town centre car parks.  Work will also extend to Clifford Road where we are looking to create an attractive link to the retail park and proposed fast food restaurant development.


Following our co-location of services at the leisure centre, we will be doing works on the existing leisure centre car park to create an overflow of 18 bays. We will also be extending and reconfiguring the existing car park to increase capacity by 20 create an overflow car park with an additional 18 bays. We will also be doing works to improve pedestrian and vehicular access to the site. Phase 2 works scheduled to commence in December 2018.

In Peterlee town centre we will be looking at the land adjacent to Burnhope Way and will organise a consultation event to help shape how we might improve the areas and create a usable space. Details of the consultation will be posted once the date is confirmed.


Earlier this year, we successfully completed the first stage of our application to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the Seaham Townscape Heritage Project. We were awarded £78,200 to develop more detailed proposals for the second-round submission in Spring 2019. 

We are currently developing a programme of intervention and engagement projects that will help prevent loss of historic detail and character in the town centre; support businesses in bringing vacant and underused areas back into use; upgrade public realm areas at North Terrace and periphery of Terrace Green in addition to access improvements to Church Street.

We will be working with local communities to raise their understanding of heritage and supporting individuals with training and skills in heritage construction and conservation.

Other capital improvements continue to be delivered and upper Church Street South will see some minor improvements later in 2018.

Across the County

Some projects that we are delivering span the whole of the Counties retail centres and this year we will be:

Undertaking an audit of our town centre signage and putting together a proposal to improve both vehicular and pedestrian access to our town centres. We will also be looking at way-finders in the centres to help visitor movement. 

Funding and support packages

Premises improvements

Funding is currently available across a various location in the county for external works to improve retail premises. Find out more on our Help with funding page.

Subsidised training opportunities

Following a survey of our retail sector, and successful digital training event, we are currently developing a programme of training opportunities aimed at the retail sector. 

Watch this space for further information, or if you wish to let us know what training you or your staff would like considering, drop us a line. We can also support bespoke training to fit your needs. 

Targeted Business Support - premises

We currently run a number of Targeted Business Support Schemes that focus on bringing empty properties back into use, and support new business start-ups and growth plans. 

The scheme supports works through a non-repayable grant to help towards improving premises and the town centres infrastructures. 

Contact us
Community Economic Development
03000 267 967
Our address is:
  • Council Offices
  • Green Lane
  • Spennymoor
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DL16 6JQ

Durham Employment and Skills Service
03000 266 644
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