Plans for Prince Bishops Place redevelopment in Durham City revealed

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Plans for the multi-million-pound transformation of a Durham City centre shopping district have been revealed by developers. 

Prince Bishops Place, which is located next to Market Square and includes tenants such as Costa Coffee, TJ Hughes and Patisserie Valerie will be renovated by Citrus Group, a real estate investment and development company, into a modern shopping destination perfect for leisure activities and overnight stays, as well as including around 300 units of private student accommodation.

The group is committed to regenerating the centre as an important gateway site in Durham City, with several smaller retail units specifically designed to accommodate the needs of independent operators.

New leisure attractions, a 130-bedroom hotel, and public spaces aim at getting visitors to spend more time at the venue. 

“We hope people across the city and wider region will recognise the opportunity our plans provide to reposition and reshape the future of Prince Bishops Place”

james taylor, citrus group

The new venue is not just aimed at locals and visitors: the largely empty upper floors of the centre will be redeveloped in the form of around 300 units of student accommodation. 

The new centre will be between Elvet Bridge and Market Square. Visitors will be surrounded by Durham’s famous sites as it overlooks the River Wear and has views of the castle and cathedral. 

The proposed project will cost £60 million and would see the 400-space lower-level car park retained. Some of the site will be demolished, but most of the shopping centre’s existing infrastructure will be reconfigured. 

There will be new walkways, seating offering views of the river, and a public square bordered by landscaping. The new square will also be able to cater to a range of public events and accommodate the main entrances for the hotel and student accommodation. 

Revamping Prince Bishops Place has the potential to make it a destination in Durham for both visitors and locals. 

A digital consultation will be live online at www.princebishopsplace.info until 16 August 2023. The public can also meet with the Citrus Group team to discuss the proposals at a drop-in event held at Unit 4, Prince Bishops Place between 12pm and 5pm on August 9. 

Plans for Prince Bishops Place. Image: Litchfields

If the project gets approved by the County Council next year, it will generate around 195 full-time jobs in retail, hospitality, and wider regional supply chain sectors once the site opens. This is expected to contribute between £5.4m and £8.6m in economic output to Durham City. 

James Taylor, regional director of Citrus Group said, “We hope people across the city and wider region will recognise the opportunity our plans provide to reposition and reshape the future of Prince Bishops Place. “

He says they are very excited to be a part of “such a transformational project” and look forward to “working with local communities and stakeholders over the coming weeks to hear their views” as part of their pre-planning engagement. He encourages anyone with an interest to visit their website or attend the drop-in session to learn more about the project. 

A formal planning application is expected to be submitted to in late 2023. 

“It would herald the transformation of an important part of Durham City Centre; so we are extremely keen to hear the views of as many local people and stakeholders as possible before final plans are submitted”

robert dibden, lichfields newcastle

Robert Dibden, associate director at Lichfields Newcastle office said, “This is an exciting regeneration project that will deliver new opportunities, jobs and economic prosperity.

“It would herald the transformation of an important part of Durham City Centre; so we are extremely keen to hear the views of as many local people and stakeholders as possible before final plans are submitted.” 

Image: Lichfields

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