Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Kynren's Changing Town's Fortunes

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Kynren's Changing Town's Fortunes

Article excerpt

Byline: Coreena Ford Chief business writer coreena.ford@ncjmedia.co.uk

RETAIL and hospitality businesses are riding a wave of economic optimism as they embrace the PS100m culture-led regeneration of Bishop Auckland.

The new Kynren by Eleven Arches Trust open-air night show opened at the start of July, coinciding with the start of the transformation of both Auckland Castle and Bishop Auckland Market Place into a new art and heritage destination.

Together, the private sector-driven Auckland Castle and Kynren by Eleven Arches Trusts' projects are forecast to bring a PS20m a year economic boost to Bishop Auckland and the wider region.

On top of this, the not-for-profit Auckland Castle and Eleven Arches Trusts' pledge to reinvest earnings into their separate activities will bring further rewards.

As businesses prepare for the anticipated increase in leisure and tourism visits, many firms are proving the opportunities are already there for the taking.

The Park Head Country Hotel and Restaurant at New Coundon has recently undergone a PS100,000 refurbishment, in part sparked by the multi-million pound developments. Meanwhile, Tavistock Hospitality has recently invested PS360,000 in buying and refurbishing the Toronto Lodge Sonnet 43 Brew Pub at Toronto, with plans to spend another PS150,000 creating nine boutique bedrooms.

New businesses have also been attracted to Bishop Auckland as the ripple effect of the Castle and Kynren by Eleven Arches Trust plans filter down.

Claire Gibbons, director of the Park Head Country Hotel and Restaurant, said the recent investment made in the 18th century coaching inn "wouldn't have been as great but for the developments planned for the Castle and Kynren open-air night show. They gave us the confidence.

"We have already seen visitor numbers increase and are attracting a different clientele. It is no longer just business reps, now we are getting guests who have an interest in history and culture. …

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