Citrus Group, in a joint venture with Galliard Homes, are excited to have submitted a planning application for their redevelopment of Prince Bishops’ Place shopping centre in the heart of Durham City Centre.

On the back of a public consultation last summer, and following some further design development, the final submitted scheme  consists of shops, leisure uses, a new public square, student housing and a hotel, creating a truly mixed-use landmark development  which will breathe new life into the fading shopping centre and support the vitality and viability of the City Centre as a whole.

James Taylor , Regional Director at Citrus Group commented: “After 15 months of work, we are very pleased to have submitted this complex planning application. It has been a productive journey, engaging with many stakeholders in and around the City, to evolve this development project into what it is today. We believe we have balanced  the many competing needs which result in a scheme which will be a real positive for the City. We look forward to continuing this journey through the planning process, and seeing it come to fruition”.

David Hirschfield, Director at Galliard Homes said: “We are delighted to partner with Citrus Group and make our first investment in Durham. The North East has always been a region very much on our radar due to its forward-thinking Council and the superb workforce the region boasts. Regeneration and place making have been at the core of Galliard Homes since inception and we are excited to be part of the Prince Bishops Place transformation from a mostly vacant shopping centre to a best in class mixed-use scheme”.

Robert Dibden (Planning Director) at Lichfields added: “By re-purposing an existing, failing shopping centre, this scheme offers a great opportunity to both strengthen the vitality and viability of the City Centre, creating a vibrant destination that people will want to spend time in, and put Prince Bishops Place onto a viable financial footing, safeguarding its future. It will also significantly improve the overall design quality and appearance of the centre by introducing a finer grain of development which more closely reflects the historic character of Durham City”.

The website with further information will remain live at www.princebishopsplace.info

Opened in 1998, the shopping centre is now a victim of structural changes in the retail sector over the past decade; exacerbated by Covid. With high vacancy rates, and little demand from national multiple retailers, it is essential that the centre reinvents itself and offers other reasons to visit.

Located between Elvet Bridge and Market Square and overlooking the River Wear with extensive views of the historic castle and cathedral., the proposed scheme will provide retail space to meet the future diverse needs of a mix of independents and national retailers. The 400 space lower level multi-storey car park will also be retained.

New walkways, landscaping and pedestrian seating offering views across the River Wear will all be provided to attract more visitors and increase the amount of time they spend in the city centre.

The square will cater for public events and  will be the centrepiece of the scheme, accommodating the main entrances to the hotel and student accommodation as well as a selection of busy shops, restaurants and leisure facilities.

Should this project get the green light from the County Council in the Summer, around 175 net additional full-time equivalent jobs in the retail, hospitality and wider regional supply chain sectors will be created when the site eventually opens, contributing an estimated £6.8m of Gross Value added in economic output to the city.

The planning application is expected to be heard at planning committee in the summer.