The South Durham Enterprise Agency has submitted an £11.7m request to the Government for Regional Growth Fund cash as it attempts to kick-start developments in the area. One of the projects seeking funding is a cinema at the Terrace Hill Development, in St Helens Auckland.
David Bloomfield, creator of the Facebook campaign spoke to Bishop FM on “The Breakfast Show” about the huge support the group has drawn up especially in the last few months. He said “More than 4,350 people have already joined the group calling for a cinema to be built in Bishop Auckland. A lot of the members are very excited that the possibility of a cinema coming back after 30 years.”
County Councillor Rob Yorke, who is also Chairman of the South Durham Enterprise Agency, said the funding would make local residents dreams a reality and that several companies, including a cinema operator, have agreed to develop in the area if the bid for the Government cash is successful.
Rob said “The purpose of the Regional Growth Fund was to “spark the ignition” of developments which have been way laid by the economic troubles and create opportunities for people aged between 18 and 24. Other local projects would also benefit from the cash which would include a training centre for the construction trade at Spennymoor, broadband provision in the Durham Dales and boosts for small businesses.”
At the end of December the fast-food chain McDonalds submitted plans to build an 85-seat drive-thru restaurant. More than 600 jobs could be created and a cinema built if the multi-million-pound funding bid is successful and a further 70 jobs if planning permission is granted for the McDonalds restaurant.
It is to be part of the on-going Terrace Hill development in St Helens Auckland which has already seen planning permission given to a KFC and Marston’s and has seen the Sainsbury’s supermarket and a stadium for Bishop Auckland Football Club built.
The original plans to build a new cinema had stalled after a drop in the market saw operators lose interest in the site however with more development happening it could be a positive sign.