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Demolition work to start on Festival Walk site

by deanranyard on 26 January, 2021

Work to demolish an outdated former shopping centre so that the area can be redeveloped begins this week.

The first phase of demolition at Festival Walk in Spennymoor will see the town’s former Kwik Save supermarket razed to the ground to make way for a new, free to use town centre car park.

The plans, which include a £600,000 investment from Durham County Council, are part of ongoing regeneration work across the county. It is hoped that town centre transformation will help attract more shoppers and businesses to County Durham.

The council is committed to spending on local regeneration proposals in main centres and smaller towns and villages as part of overall aims to enhance the fabric of town centres, but also go beyond this to enhance village and suburban local centres – the heart of local communities.

As well as the demolition of the Kwik Save store, a large part of the existing site will be demolished to create a new larger ALDI store, replacing Spennymoor’s current ALDI store, which the supermarket has said it has outgrown. The current ALDI store will be re-let. 

Hellens Group is leading the regeneration of Festival Walk and has appointed MGL Demolition to carry out the demolition work on the site. Hellens is then constructing a new public car park and will also refurbish the remaining units to provide a more up to date retail space. 

In addition to investing in the new car park meanwhile, the council plans work at the town’s Market Place, which sits in front of Festival Walk, to ensure it is as appealing and welcoming to visitors as possible and provides a positive first impression of the area. 

Mark Davison, Managing Director of MGL Demolition, said: “We are delighted to be working with Hellens Group on this key regeneration project. As a local company we fully recognise its importance in supporting Durham County Council’s wider and ongoing regeneration work across the county.”

Gavin Cordwell-Smith, chief executive of North East-based developer Hellens Group, said: “We have been pleased to work alongside Durham County Council in leading the regeneration of Festival Walk for some time. The start of demolition work moves us one step closer to delivering significant improvements which can be enjoyed by all residents of Spennymoor and the wider community. 

“Once completed the shopping and visitor experience will be greatly enhanced, providing many benefits to residents in the area and to the local economy.”

It is expected that the new look Festival Walk will be ready to welcome shoppers, businesses and visitors by early 2022. 

Local Lib Dem Cllr Dean Ranyard is pleased to see progress is being made after many years of campaigning for action.

Dean comments, “The regeneration of the Festival Walk site has been a long time coming and it’s a relief that we are now seeing progress. The run down state of this part of the Town Centre has been a major concern for local residents for many years. Hopefully this will be the first piece in the jigsaw to revitalise the Town Centre offering and will help attract additional businesses to Spennymoor.”

Cllr Dean Ranyard stands in front of the run down Festival Walk units that are due for demolition
Artists impression of how the new Aldi store will look
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