Town Centre Manager, Bryan Haldane, is very optimistic on the future of Newton Aycliffe as a shopping precinct. Since the completion of the refurbishment there has been much interest by prospective shopkeepers and there are positive signs new businesses will be moving in to offer new services to the town.
The new look town centre has been judged in a nationwide competition and was shortlisted in the top four completed projects in the Under £5million category.
“I am particularly proud of what we have achieved in Newton Aycliffe compared with what we had before the revamp” said Bryan.
If you look at the photos on Page 5 it will remind you of what the town centre used to look like and how it has been ttransformed. It is easy to forget that we were once falling over a badly paved area for years with constant complaints to Bryan Haldane’s Office. This was down to the former Aycliffe Development Corporation laying paving over a road surface when Beveridge Way was pedestrianised.
The current owners had to remove the old paving, dig up the road and start from scratch to provide a proper paved area. Since then there have been no falls or complaints due to poor paving.
Bryan told Newton News he was in the process of refurbishing Woolworths and the former HSBC Bank ready to take new tenants. He also revealed that four flats above HSBC were being prepared for residential rental.
There was some exciting news about a new large retailer coming to Aycliffe, the name of whom could not be revealed until negotiations are complete.
The delay of a year on the demolition of Churchill House, Beveridge Way shops and removal of the town clock were laid at the feet of the Utilities companies who have failed miserably to meet deadlines to complete necessary work before demolition can start.
“I have to apologise for all the promises which had to be broken but it was out of our hands and I am embarrassed to mention further dates. We are however hoping progress will be made in February.