Agenda and minutes

Bishop Auckland Stronger Town Board - Wednesday 28 September 2022 3.30 pm

Venue: The Elgar Room - Bishop Auckland Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Jill Errington  03000 269703

No. Item


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Amy Harhoff, Dehenna Davison MP, Bishop Paul Butler, Jonathan Ruffer, David Madden, Mike Matthews, Nik Turner, Jonathan Gilroy, Mark Jackson and Andrew Walker.


Declarations of interest


Natalie Davison-Terranova declared an interest in the Springboard to Employment Project. The Board member noted she was employed by Bishop Auckland College, a delivery partner in the initiative.


On behalf of The Auckland Project (TAP) Stephen Bowyer declared an interest in the Durham Dales Gateway and the Town Centre Diversification Artists Hub projects which were at the land acquisition stage.



Minutes of the meeting held on 5 September 2022


The Minutes of the meeting held on 5 September 2022 were agreed as a correct record.


Stronger Towns Funding Project: Walking and Cycling

·       Executive Summary – copy attached

·       Business Case Summary – to be circulated


The Board considered a report of the Corporate Director of Regeneration, Economy and Growth which provided a summary of the Stronger Town Funding Walking and Cycling Business Case within Bishop Auckland.


A copy of the full Business Case for submission by the end of September 2022 had been circulated to Members.


Geoff Paul re-capped that the Board had agreed to submit a proposal centred on the original proposals within the TIP after discounting a further option known as Heritage Walk primarily due to cost and economic issues. The Board had agreed that discussions with Active Travel England would be advanced for alternative costing and delivery opportunities. DCC were arranging a meeting with Active Travel England to review opportunities and would continue to work up a detailed design in order that it could be oven-ready for any future funding opportunity.


The Board had agreed a £2.5 million allocation from the STF for the original proposals with £0.5 million match funding from Durham County Council.

Currently walking and cycling routes were fragmented in Bishop Auckland, particularly in the town centre and local communities were disconnected from key services.


The report outlined the proposals which had been developed in 12 individual sections. All were compliant with DfT design standards, and with the exception of Section 12 could all be accommodated within the £3m budget. At a cost of circa £1.1m, the Section 12  proposal was not affordable within the budget allocation and would require Environment Agency approval. It could however be considered for any remaining STF funding.


The route would offer Very High Value for Money, with a benefit cost ratio (BCR) estimate of 12.This was well above the STF threshold of 1.2, and the Very High Value for Money threshold of 4.

The Board discussed the proposals.


Rob Yorke noted the excellent work carried out in presenting the proposals and hoped that £1.1m could be secured at some point from other funding opportunities to bring forward Section 12.


Following comments regarding Coundon and Bracks Farm schemes, Craig MacLennan confirmed that although not included in the final proposals both schemes had been shortlisted as reserves.


Councillor Scott asked about delivery timescales and was informed that work was due to start on site in the Summer of 2023 for a period of 10 months.


The Board welcomed the proposals for Cockton Hill Road which would improve safety for cyclists and walkers.


Following discussion the Board AGREED to


(a)       proceed with the proposals (Routes 1-11) set out in  paragraph  16 of the report;

(b)        endorse the signature of the associated Walking & Cycling Business Case Summary document;

(c)        note the proposals for further discussions with Active Travel England over the Bishop Auckland Heritage Route.

The Board then discussed progress with other Stronger Town Board projects. The Springboard to Employment and South Church Enterprise Park projects were progressing following the Business Case Summary sign-off.

Durham Dales Gateway was on target for the submission of the Business Case by the end of November 2022.

Work to finalise  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Date of Next Meeting


Thursday 20 October 2022 at 1.00pm.