Revealed: £30m plans to transform The Gates

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Plans to transform Durham City’s shopping centre were revealed in a two-day public display last weekend.

The plans feature a multi-screen cinema, student flats, restaurants, cafes and a new selection of shops, as well as a complete overhaul of the building’s interior and exterior.

After buying The Gates for £11.85m earlier this year, Clearbell Capital, a private equity management business, now plans to spend £30m refurbishing the building.

The company also hopes to build an external shopping street with a riverside promenade on the existing site.

Members of the public had the chance to view the proposals and vocie their opinion last Friday from midday until 7pm and on Saturday between 9:30am and 1pm.

Nick Berry, a partner at Clearbell Capital, said: “We are very excited about the proposed improvements to The Gates. Durham has long been starved of a cinema and we think residents from the city and surrounding area deserve a better place to eat, shop and be entertained.”

Clearbell Capital has also said that the development would create 195 construction jobs and 120 permanent jobs once work is completed.

“We think residents from the city and surrounding area deserve a better place to eat, shop and be entertained.”

Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners, the town planning consultancy firm that assisted the University in building the Palatine Centre, added: “The proposed scheme will open up the Framwellgate Bridge entrance into a new external street with more shops.

“This street will connect with an elevated promenade, fronted by a range of new cafes, restaurants and multi-screen cinema, with student residential accommodation above.

“It will open currently inaccessible views across the River Wear towards the City, Castle and Cathedral World Heritage site.

“These proposals combine the remodelling of parts of the existing centre with elements of new build development creating an improved retail environment that will attract new retailers into the city centre.”

The £30m plans will now be submitted to Durham City Council.

The shopping centre has never been refurbished since it first opened in 1975.

Illustration: Clearbell Capital

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