Durham News: Airport Development & Theatre Update

Many people assume that not much really happens in our sleepy city of Durham.

Historically, this place was probably much more populous in the past.

Back in the town’s heyday (as in 30 years ago) the River Wear, that runs through the town, brought a steady stream of goods and people that would have galvanised the town’s then booming economy.

Today however, it is a completely different story. It’s been a while since any boat has passed through the Wear bearing goods for sale or passengers eager to disembark in our fair town. No travelling merchants hawking their materials roam the streets and you’d be hard pressed to find a band of touring players that didn’t arrive via coach or plane.

Thankfully, as the times have moved on, so has Durham. This city is constantly undergoing changes and updates, ensuring it’s reputation as a modern, culturally relevant city is safe for the foreseeable future. This is a city that is unafraid to invest in itself and not averse to taking financial risks if it means the continued success of Durham and it’s people.

Most recently, new redevelopment work has been completed on Durham’s Gala Theatre.

Already the city’s premier destination for theatre and live music, the Gala reopened it’s doors in the Autumn with an additional 2 screens, bringing it’s total to 4, allowing the Gala to offer twice the variety for its patrons. The recent development was primarily funded by Picturehouse who also saw fit to add a brand new restaurant, concession area and box office.

This is just one of many new developments in the Durham area that has seen the city undergo a striking cultural regeneration which has brought more people and assets into the area. A little further outside of the main city, change is also brewing at Durham Tees Valley Airport.

The airport has come under fire in the last few years for a variety of reasons. On top of the consistent complaints of locals due to noise pollution, there have also been a growing number of angry voices insisting that the destinations that the airport now flies out to are no longer relevant to the people living in the local area. Peel Airports Ltd., owners of Durham Tees Valley Airport, have unveiled a development plan for the area immediately next to their airport, which handles the travel plans for around 160,000 people each year.

Although airport parking at Durham might has already been heavily invested in, there are no plans to build around 350 new homes just metres away from the main terminal.

These plans were recently approved by the council, although the councillors were split 4-4 on this decision. In addition to the swathe of new people that this will bring into the area, plans are also in place to create a retail space and community facilities, such as a dentist’s practice and a health centre.

There have already been some protests against this plan. Understandably, Peel have attempted to ease the minds of those that are a little perturbed at new construction occurring so close to the airport, insisting that all of the money that is made from the homes will be pumped back into the airport.

Let’s hope the work is completed quickly so that we can welcome even more visitor’s and residents to our city!