RJP is delighted to announce a new instruction, to support The Auckland Project in engaging with the preparation of a response to the draft of the County Durham Plan (CDP).

Based in Bishop Auckland, The Auckland Project’s origins stem from an initial investment in a 900-year-old bishop’s palace, Auckland Castle, to transform it from a private dwelling into a vibrant, world-class visitor destination.  It has now expanded its horizons to help progress the long-term revitalisation of the town, working with the local community and other partners to raise aspirations and opportunities through arts, heritage and a culture of learning.  The Auckland Project will soon comprise several related elements in and around the Castle grounds in addition to Auckland Castle itself.  These include the award-winning Mining Art Gallery, Deer Park and Auckland Tower visitor centre, which are now open to the public, as well as the creation of a Faith Museum, Spanish Gallery, Walled Garden a hotel and a number of restaurants, which will open in stages over the coming years.  Auckland Tower has been shortlisted for an award in the heritage and culture category at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2019.

RJP is advising to ensure that the CDP provides the appropriate spatial framework to support the work of The Auckland Project so that it can achieve its ambitions for the growth of the visitor economy of Bishop Auckland and the surrounding area.