Plea for help for independent shops in Bishop Auckland

A BUSINESSMAN believes more can be done to support independent retailers in Bishop Auckland.

Don McCabe was forced to close his Newgate Street video game shop Chips in March, due to a lack of trade.

The 56-year-old feels Durham County Council should be protecting smaller businesses and he blames the out-of-town shopping site in St Helen Auckland for the decrease in footfall in the town centre.

However, council officers said they are actively working with retailers to make positive changes.

Mr McCabe said: "Nobody goes into the centre of town anymore because the supermarkets have forced all the small grocers and other independent retailers out.”

He also feels Durham County Council does not take the views and opinions of smaller shops and retailers as importantly as those of the supermarket chains.

Kevin Lawson, 59, who runs Lawson's Butchers, on Newgate Street, said: "Lots of shops are being closed down in Bishop Auckland and the council doesn't seem to be doing anything. More needs to be done."

Chris Myers, regeneration projects manager with Durham County Council, said: "We do recognise the important role that independent retailers have in the vitality and viability of the town centre.”

He added the council has revamped the Market Place and has been working on a number of schemes, including improvements to shop fronts.

Comments (9)

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8:50pm Tue 20 May 14

bishopman says...

How about getting off your backside a doing some marketing etc to get your business instead of expecting the Council tax payer to do it for you
How about getting off your backside a doing some marketing etc to get your business instead of expecting the Council tax payer to do it for you bishopman
  • Score: -5

9:14am Wed 21 May 14

bowwow2014 says...

have lived in bishop all my life and cant believe since the late 1980s how many supermarkets we have in such a small area. little shops were alwys going to lose out. planning permission has to be granted from councils so in turn they have added to the way the town has turned out. i love my town and hate to see how it has become. so many empty shops. independant shops cant compete when there are so many supermarkets on their doorstep. local run businesses should be helped by the council. meetings set up low rates for independants even for a couple of years. we have such an historic town . jonathan ruffer and is team are doing an amazing job with the castle and his tourism plans. if only the local council could come together and sort out a masterplan for the retail side.take bishop back to the good old days of small local retailers . we stay at staithes and robin hoods bay regularly and lovely individual shops that you dont see on high streets. scale bishop back make the bondgates the shopping areas again . tindale can have the big names and keep bishop town for small shops .loved the food fair to see the market so busy again. encourage market stalls back free pitches for 6 months . incorporate farmers markets with them . loved going to the markets with my granda as a kid toffee stall and sweet stall definte favourite. lots of local people have plenty of ideas . personally iw ould scale bishop down concentrate on the tourist side which auckland castle is going to bring in and work with this on retail side. anywhere where large tourist attractions are have got the right idea if everyone came together bishop could be great again . town planners took the heart out of the town in the 70s this could be a new start lets hope
have lived in bishop all my life and cant believe since the late 1980s how many supermarkets we have in such a small area. little shops were alwys going to lose out. planning permission has to be granted from councils so in turn they have added to the way the town has turned out. i love my town and hate to see how it has become. so many empty shops. independant shops cant compete when there are so many supermarkets on their doorstep. local run businesses should be helped by the council. meetings set up low rates for independants even for a couple of years. we have such an historic town . jonathan ruffer and is team are doing an amazing job with the castle and his tourism plans. if only the local council could come together and sort out a masterplan for the retail side.take bishop back to the good old days of small local retailers . we stay at staithes and robin hoods bay regularly and lovely individual shops that you dont see on high streets. scale bishop back make the bondgates the shopping areas again . tindale can have the big names and keep bishop town for small shops .loved the food fair to see the market so busy again. encourage market stalls back free pitches for 6 months . incorporate farmers markets with them . loved going to the markets with my granda as a kid toffee stall and sweet stall definte favourite. lots of local people have plenty of ideas . personally iw ould scale bishop down concentrate on the tourist side which auckland castle is going to bring in and work with this on retail side. anywhere where large tourist attractions are have got the right idea if everyone came together bishop could be great again . town planners took the heart out of the town in the 70s this could be a new start lets hope bowwow2014
  • Score: 8

11:05am Wed 21 May 14

thehogman says...

The council should have gone ahead with investing in the once proposed town centre development, however they took the cheapest way out and invested out of town......what were the bloody fools thinking about!!!!!????? a stunningly stupid thing to do; they now have a dying town on their hands; with businesses going to the wall and town centre landlords facing ruin...... Bishop was once was a thriving market town.............sad
ly no more
The council should have gone ahead with investing in the once proposed town centre development, however they took the cheapest way out and invested out of town......what were the bloody fools thinking about!!!!!????? a stunningly stupid thing to do; they now have a dying town on their hands; with businesses going to the wall and town centre landlords facing ruin...... Bishop was once was a thriving market town.............sad ly no more thehogman
  • Score: 1

1:20pm Wed 21 May 14

cholmes005 says...

bowwow2014 wrote:
have lived in bishop all my life and cant believe since the late 1980s how many supermarkets we have in such a small area. little shops were alwys going to lose out. planning permission has to be granted from councils so in turn they have added to the way the town has turned out. i love my town and hate to see how it has become. so many empty shops. independant shops cant compete when there are so many supermarkets on their doorstep. local run businesses should be helped by the council. meetings set up low rates for independants even for a couple of years. we have such an historic town . jonathan ruffer and is team are doing an amazing job with the castle and his tourism plans. if only the local council could come together and sort out a masterplan for the retail side.take bishop back to the good old days of small local retailers . we stay at staithes and robin hoods bay regularly and lovely individual shops that you dont see on high streets. scale bishop back make the bondgates the shopping areas again . tindale can have the big names and keep bishop town for small shops .loved the food fair to see the market so busy again. encourage market stalls back free pitches for 6 months . incorporate farmers markets with them . loved going to the markets with my granda as a kid toffee stall and sweet stall definte favourite. lots of local people have plenty of ideas . personally iw ould scale bishop down concentrate on the tourist side which auckland castle is going to bring in and work with this on retail side. anywhere where large tourist attractions are have got the right idea if everyone came together bishop could be great again . town planners took the heart out of the town in the 70s this could be a new start lets hope
well said. Theres 4 big supermarkets in town as well as smaller ones which is daft for a town with a population of less than 30,000. Gateshead has the large Tesco in the town centre and the next supermarket must be 2-3 mile away unlike bishop. I feel the decline started when asda left the newgate centre and the st Helens shops really put the nail in the coffin. As well as shops closing look at all the pubs and late night venues that have shut in past 5 year or so
[quote][p][bold]bowwow2014[/bold] wrote: have lived in bishop all my life and cant believe since the late 1980s how many supermarkets we have in such a small area. little shops were alwys going to lose out. planning permission has to be granted from councils so in turn they have added to the way the town has turned out. i love my town and hate to see how it has become. so many empty shops. independant shops cant compete when there are so many supermarkets on their doorstep. local run businesses should be helped by the council. meetings set up low rates for independants even for a couple of years. we have such an historic town . jonathan ruffer and is team are doing an amazing job with the castle and his tourism plans. if only the local council could come together and sort out a masterplan for the retail side.take bishop back to the good old days of small local retailers . we stay at staithes and robin hoods bay regularly and lovely individual shops that you dont see on high streets. scale bishop back make the bondgates the shopping areas again . tindale can have the big names and keep bishop town for small shops .loved the food fair to see the market so busy again. encourage market stalls back free pitches for 6 months . incorporate farmers markets with them . loved going to the markets with my granda as a kid toffee stall and sweet stall definte favourite. lots of local people have plenty of ideas . personally iw ould scale bishop down concentrate on the tourist side which auckland castle is going to bring in and work with this on retail side. anywhere where large tourist attractions are have got the right idea if everyone came together bishop could be great again . town planners took the heart out of the town in the 70s this could be a new start lets hope[/p][/quote]well said. Theres 4 big supermarkets in town as well as smaller ones which is daft for a town with a population of less than 30,000. Gateshead has the large Tesco in the town centre and the next supermarket must be 2-3 mile away unlike bishop. I feel the decline started when asda left the newgate centre and the st Helens shops really put the nail in the coffin. As well as shops closing look at all the pubs and late night venues that have shut in past 5 year or so cholmes005
  • Score: 3

4:05pm Wed 21 May 14

yogi2443 says...

I own K.P.H army surplus shop Bondate in bishop Auckland and sorry to say that only after one years trade i will have to close as i am not getting the trade. the town is dead i have seen in just one year three small shops close down in bondgate
I will be the forth... when will durham county council wake up to what is happening in bishop auckland. there is no support for the small trader, just for the big company's with there fat cat bosses
I own K.P.H army surplus shop Bondate in bishop Auckland and sorry to say that only after one years trade i will have to close as i am not getting the trade. the town is dead i have seen in just one year three small shops close down in bondgate I will be the forth... when will durham county council wake up to what is happening in bishop auckland. there is no support for the small trader, just for the big company's with there fat cat bosses yogi2443
  • Score: 3

6:34pm Wed 21 May 14

lowlandscot says...

The problem is the lack of parking. If DCC changed the car parks into 3 hour disc parking they just might get folk coming back into town. Got the bus into the bus station this morning ...back doors of Newgate Centre were locked! I walked down Bondgate and was appalled at the number of shops which have closed. The revamping of the market place was a disaster; the number of car parking spaces was reduced and now the market is a shadow of its former self with only a few stalls.
The problem is the lack of parking. If DCC changed the car parks into 3 hour disc parking they just might get folk coming back into town. Got the bus into the bus station this morning ...back doors of Newgate Centre were locked! I walked down Bondgate and was appalled at the number of shops which have closed. The revamping of the market place was a disaster; the number of car parking spaces was reduced and now the market is a shadow of its former self with only a few stalls. lowlandscot
  • Score: 2

12:08pm Thu 22 May 14

bowwow2014 says...

yogi2443 wrote:
I own K.P.H army surplus shop Bondate in bishop Auckland and sorry to say that only after one years trade i will have to close as i am not getting the trade. the town is dead i have seen in just one year three small shops close down in bondgate
I will be the forth... when will durham county council wake up to what is happening in bishop auckland. there is no support for the small trader, just for the big company's with there fat cat bosses
so sorry for your business. hubby has been in and was impressed with friendly way in which he was helped out and advice given in your shop..big retailers cant give the personal touch it means nothing to the staff in them as they are working for a chain. this is what is being lost with the closure of small shops. the dedication and quality of service is second to none. whwereas in large chains which i dont personally like to use as these are are so false. its not the staffs fault they have to give you the small speech they are told to say to every person they greet you are meant to feel important that an interest is took in you till you hear the same words used to the next person and the next etc. bondgate has some lovely shops but on the side that used to be coopers(barmondos) showing my age now ! it is an eyesore. people attract other people as does word of mouth it is a human trait. if you dont see anybody in a shop or in an area it makes you wonder whats wrong with it on the other hand if lots of people are in a certain place it generates curiosity and interest which people follow.. i would love to see a big move around of shops in bishop have all the independants in the bondgates have an eyecatching shop on the corner instead homebargains(in bishop photos have a look at what used to be there the talbot beautiful building) is fine in itself but a better attraction to lead the eye up to bondgate should be another gallery maybe showing old paintings of bishop so that peoples eyes are drawn towards the area you want people to visit.. move all the pizza shops and fast food eateries leisure eg bingo and tattoo places out onto newgate street . brick the end of newgate street off and encourage everyone to walk through bondgate and visit all the array of small shops here if bondgate was full of interesting and different shops including yours kph army supplies.it would be a pleasure to shop up there and leave newgate street to bookies cheap shops phone shops fast food shops charity shops . designated areas to choose from. people have a gripe on here i have noticed about sam zairs cafe but his is an old established business and he is hanging on it would be wonderful if bondgate could be filled and booming again. hope this could be turned into reality.
[quote][p][bold]yogi2443[/bold] wrote: I own K.P.H army surplus shop Bondate in bishop Auckland and sorry to say that only after one years trade i will have to close as i am not getting the trade. the town is dead i have seen in just one year three small shops close down in bondgate I will be the forth... when will durham county council wake up to what is happening in bishop auckland. there is no support for the small trader, just for the big company's with there fat cat bosses[/p][/quote]so sorry for your business. hubby has been in and was impressed with friendly way in which he was helped out and advice given in your shop..big retailers cant give the personal touch it means nothing to the staff in them as they are working for a chain. this is what is being lost with the closure of small shops. the dedication and quality of service is second to none. whwereas in large chains which i dont personally like to use as these are are so false. its not the staffs fault they have to give you the small speech they are told to say to every person they greet you are meant to feel important that an interest is took in you till you hear the same words used to the next person and the next etc. bondgate has some lovely shops but on the side that used to be coopers(barmondos) showing my age now ! it is an eyesore. people attract other people as does word of mouth it is a human trait. if you dont see anybody in a shop or in an area it makes you wonder whats wrong with it on the other hand if lots of people are in a certain place it generates curiosity and interest which people follow.. i would love to see a big move around of shops in bishop have all the independants in the bondgates have an eyecatching shop on the corner instead homebargains(in bishop photos have a look at what used to be there the talbot beautiful building) is fine in itself but a better attraction to lead the eye up to bondgate should be another gallery maybe showing old paintings of bishop so that peoples eyes are drawn towards the area you want people to visit.. move all the pizza shops and fast food eateries leisure eg bingo and tattoo places out onto newgate street . brick the end of newgate street off and encourage everyone to walk through bondgate and visit all the array of small shops here if bondgate was full of interesting and different shops including yours kph army supplies.it would be a pleasure to shop up there and leave newgate street to bookies cheap shops phone shops fast food shops charity shops . designated areas to choose from. people have a gripe on here i have noticed about sam zairs cafe but his is an old established business and he is hanging on it would be wonderful if bondgate could be filled and booming again. hope this could be turned into reality. bowwow2014
  • Score: 1

12:29pm Thu 22 May 14

bowwow2014 says...

cholmes005 wrote:
bowwow2014 wrote:
have lived in bishop all my life and cant believe since the late 1980s how many supermarkets we have in such a small area. little shops were alwys going to lose out. planning permission has to be granted from councils so in turn they have added to the way the town has turned out. i love my town and hate to see how it has become. so many empty shops. independant shops cant compete when there are so many supermarkets on their doorstep. local run businesses should be helped by the council. meetings set up low rates for independants even for a couple of years. we have such an historic town . jonathan ruffer and is team are doing an amazing job with the castle and his tourism plans. if only the local council could come together and sort out a masterplan for the retail side.take bishop back to the good old days of small local retailers . we stay at staithes and robin hoods bay regularly and lovely individual shops that you dont see on high streets. scale bishop back make the bondgates the shopping areas again . tindale can have the big names and keep bishop town for small shops .loved the food fair to see the market so busy again. encourage market stalls back free pitches for 6 months . incorporate farmers markets with them . loved going to the markets with my granda as a kid toffee stall and sweet stall definte favourite. lots of local people have plenty of ideas . personally iw ould scale bishop down concentrate on the tourist side which auckland castle is going to bring in and work with this on retail side. anywhere where large tourist attractions are have got the right idea if everyone came together bishop could be great again . town planners took the heart out of the town in the 70s this could be a new start lets hope
well said. Theres 4 big supermarkets in town as well as smaller ones which is daft for a town with a population of less than 30,000. Gateshead has the large Tesco in the town centre and the next supermarket must be 2-3 mile away unlike bishop. I feel the decline started when asda left the newgate centre and the st Helens shops really put the nail in the coffin. As well as shops closing look at all the pubs and late night venues that have shut in past 5 year or so
thanks for agreeing with me. i understand what you mean about all the pubs closing aswell there used to be so many but none now in newgate street .. i think they had the ideas all wrong when they wanted to change bishop. if it were left to the council as im not sure how many people know but the town hall was due to be demolished as was the viaduct until enough local people who were infuriated with this decision came together and for once people power worked and we got the viaduct restored as was the town hall and just look at them now beautiful. in guides to the place the council seems to take credit when it was the passion of the people that live here that forced the change and kept us the buildings.so much bad feeling in bishop about it being let down times change the new shopping park is here to stay and if bishop is to turn around it needs a new direction. the market place should have been purposely renovated with people in mind not structures and it was so everyone could sit and enjoy the old part of town but what is a town or village as it started out without people in it. market days are empty yes the whole concept of a market has changed with cheap shops everywhere to buy goods but a market has a purpose to bring people together in one place and if this could be tailored to foods again as we have one fruit and veg stall aswell as flowers they are inspiring how they have stuck all the changes out and still return week after week, have meat stalls fresh food a mini version of the food fair local bakers etc as farmers markets have. .concentrate the market place into just cafes and restaurants have shops moved onto negate street . i said in earlier post if bishop could have its own designated areas it could boom again instead of anything and everything side by side. we are in an historic town the historic part being the bondgates and the castle. jonathan ruffer is saviour in my eyes as he has bought the castle out of a personal passion and a willingness to help the people in the town also which is a rarity these days.. if plans had been different and it were sold privately the castle would be another piece of history sold private and gone to developers. mr ruffer is so driven and an inspiration that although money is powerful so is persons enthusiasm and self belief . beleif in yourself can move mountains. i hope we can just move bishop into better times
[quote][p][bold]cholmes005[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]bowwow2014[/bold] wrote: have lived in bishop all my life and cant believe since the late 1980s how many supermarkets we have in such a small area. little shops were alwys going to lose out. planning permission has to be granted from councils so in turn they have added to the way the town has turned out. i love my town and hate to see how it has become. so many empty shops. independant shops cant compete when there are so many supermarkets on their doorstep. local run businesses should be helped by the council. meetings set up low rates for independants even for a couple of years. we have such an historic town . jonathan ruffer and is team are doing an amazing job with the castle and his tourism plans. if only the local council could come together and sort out a masterplan for the retail side.take bishop back to the good old days of small local retailers . we stay at staithes and robin hoods bay regularly and lovely individual shops that you dont see on high streets. scale bishop back make the bondgates the shopping areas again . tindale can have the big names and keep bishop town for small shops .loved the food fair to see the market so busy again. encourage market stalls back free pitches for 6 months . incorporate farmers markets with them . loved going to the markets with my granda as a kid toffee stall and sweet stall definte favourite. lots of local people have plenty of ideas . personally iw ould scale bishop down concentrate on the tourist side which auckland castle is going to bring in and work with this on retail side. anywhere where large tourist attractions are have got the right idea if everyone came together bishop could be great again . town planners took the heart out of the town in the 70s this could be a new start lets hope[/p][/quote]well said. Theres 4 big supermarkets in town as well as smaller ones which is daft for a town with a population of less than 30,000. Gateshead has the large Tesco in the town centre and the next supermarket must be 2-3 mile away unlike bishop. I feel the decline started when asda left the newgate centre and the st Helens shops really put the nail in the coffin. As well as shops closing look at all the pubs and late night venues that have shut in past 5 year or so[/p][/quote]thanks for agreeing with me. i understand what you mean about all the pubs closing aswell there used to be so many but none now in newgate street .. i think they had the ideas all wrong when they wanted to change bishop. if it were left to the council as im not sure how many people know but the town hall was due to be demolished as was the viaduct until enough local people who were infuriated with this decision came together and for once people power worked and we got the viaduct restored as was the town hall and just look at them now beautiful. in guides to the place the council seems to take credit when it was the passion of the people that live here that forced the change and kept us the buildings.so much bad feeling in bishop about it being let down times change the new shopping park is here to stay and if bishop is to turn around it needs a new direction. the market place should have been purposely renovated with people in mind not structures and it was so everyone could sit and enjoy the old part of town but what is a town or village as it started out without people in it. market days are empty yes the whole concept of a market has changed with cheap shops everywhere to buy goods but a market has a purpose to bring people together in one place and if this could be tailored to foods again as we have one fruit and veg stall aswell as flowers they are inspiring how they have stuck all the changes out and still return week after week, have meat stalls fresh food a mini version of the food fair local bakers etc as farmers markets have. .concentrate the market place into just cafes and restaurants have shops moved onto negate street . i said in earlier post if bishop could have its own designated areas it could boom again instead of anything and everything side by side. we are in an historic town the historic part being the bondgates and the castle. jonathan ruffer is saviour in my eyes as he has bought the castle out of a personal passion and a willingness to help the people in the town also which is a rarity these days.. if plans had been different and it were sold privately the castle would be another piece of history sold private and gone to developers. mr ruffer is so driven and an inspiration that although money is powerful so is persons enthusiasm and self belief . beleif in yourself can move mountains. i hope we can just move bishop into better times bowwow2014
  • Score: 2

10:34am Fri 23 May 14

Crystal Tipps says...

I am one of those people who have lived in Bishop Auckland all of my life and now don't shop in the main street. It is very sad that the traditional shopping habits are no longer, however society changes the times. Lifestyles have changed and many people now need an essential combination of value, ease and convenience when shopping. If that is what the new complex offers then of course people will go there. I personally really like it as there is everything I want in one place.
I am one of those people who have lived in Bishop Auckland all of my life and now don't shop in the main street. It is very sad that the traditional shopping habits are no longer, however society changes the times. Lifestyles have changed and many people now need an essential combination of value, ease and convenience when shopping. If that is what the new complex offers then of course people will go there. I personally really like it as there is everything I want in one place. Crystal Tipps
  • Score: 1

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