Bishop Auckland and Shildon Business Network Event


Last month I attended the Business Durham networking event for Bishop Auckland and Shildon businesses, in order to gain an insight into what this event was all about.

From my previous experience of being self-employed I was already very aware of what these type of events involved, but I was keen to go along for myself to see what benefits this event had for the local business communities.

The venue of this event was held at The Park Head Hotel at a starting time of 8.15am, usually attending breakfast networking meetings of this type you can often expect to receive a bacon sandwich and a cup of tea or coffee.

But not at The Park Head Hotel, a fantastic cooked breakfast, with a wide selection of fruit and pastries made attending all the more worthwhile.

The structure of this event can be seen below;


Giving all attendees a good 40 minutes to get a warm drink, some breakfast, and do some networking in the room that consisted of over 30 businesses.

For me it was nice to see some familiar faces with Auckland Castle, Durham County Council and Caps Off in attendance.

A short welcome and introductions were made by both Business Durham and South Durham Enterprise Agency, before handing over to the main speaker from Auckland Castle Trust to carry out their presentation based on this occasion, regarding the development plans from Auckland Castle Trust and also taking time to highlight the ‘Kynren’ project delivered by Eleven Arches.

Once the informative presentation was complete, there was around 20 to 30 minutes at the end to do some further networking within the room, chatting to new people and making business connections.

Business Durham’s objectives for these events are each meeting is to include breakfast, networking, business support and discussions, guest speakers and more.

What I like about this event is it’s very relaxed, friendly, you have the opportunity to meet local business people all in one room, and they alternate the event venues.

This event was their second event, the first one being held at Bishop Auckland Football Club in June, enabling many businesses in both towns the opportunity to experience first-hand the many different venues and businesses for themselves.

Tomorrow sees the next Bishop Auckland and Shildon Business Network event held at The Manor House Hotel, West Auckland, Bishop Auckland, at 8.15am – 10.30am (Thursday 17th August).

With presentations taking place from Malcolm Potter of the Business Energy Efficiency Programme (BEEP) informing you how you could receive a FREE Energy Audit potentially leading to practical improvements supported by Grant Funding.

Followed by John Atkinson, about the current Business Support options, for County Durham businesses available from NBSL.

If you have your own business or the business you work in is operating in the catchment area of either Bishop Auckland or Shildon, you may wish to go along to one of their free to attend events.

To register for tomorrow’s event please click on the attached link: 

Otherwise you may wish to make a note of the September date of Thursday 28th September that will be held at Bishop Auckland Golf Club.


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‘Full Moon’ Street Food Market


On Friday 11th August, Bishop Auckland’s ‘Full Moon’ Street Food Market returns, building on its first successful event last month.

Organised by The Durham Street Food Project in association with both Durham Markets and Bishop Auckland Market.

Last month’s event was a roaring success, around 9 or 10 food and drink vendors attended, and were supported by 3 acoustic performances throughout the evening.

It was great to see the Bishop Auckland Market Place a hive of activity, enjoyed by many local residents, and visitors to the area which included the Kynren show.

It was nice to see, there were many families and friends socialising within the central point of our town, soaking up the atmosphere, whilst enjoying some fabulous culinary food and hand crafted beers too.

It was a good opportunity at the end of the week to come together and enjoy a good event and catch up with people I hadn’t seen in awhile.

For me, I think this street food market compliments the town’s offerings, bringing more residents and visitors into the market place, with pubs, cafes and restaurants open providing any visitors with an alternative choice, or an opportunity to go on somewhere after.

Hopefully an event that will continue to be supported and become a monthly event in the future too.

The above images were of some of the above businesses who attended last month.

The full attendees list returning to the street market tonight are:

The Asian Project 

The French Pop Up

Crispy Conewich

Smoke Dokies

The Green Guerrilla

Barista Sisters


Ice Cream Van

And local Bishop Auckland businesses:

Caps Off


The Auckland Cupcake Co.


Belgian Waffle Tuk


With live entertainment being provided tonight by Middlesbrough band ‘Swilly Chill’.

Heading to the event by car?

Don’t be deterred.

Yes there is another fantastic performance of the Kynren show tonight, but there are still many car parks to choose from, you may even wish to buy last minute tickets and go along to the show too, it’s highly recommended.

Castle Chard Car Park

Victoria Avenue Car Park

Kingsway Car Park

Tenters Street Car Park

All of the above Durham County Council car parks are free after 6pm, or follow the boards for payment structures prior to 6pm.

Whilst you are here you may wish to take a look in the old McIntyre’s shop in Newgate Street, where Bishop Auckland College have had an Arts Exhibition throughout the Summer.

Tonight they are accompanied by musicians performing until 8pm.

Alternatively, you could also pay a visit to Fore Bondgate businesses Gillian Arnold Boutique were you can see the finished article of their ‘On The Map’ project.

And Bondgate Gallery taking in their impressive collection including this outstanding Kynren painting by owner Eric Thompson.

Whatever the weather it should be another fantastic event, come along and support Bishop Auckland.


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Bishop Auckland College Art Exhibition


Last month, Bishop Auckland College Art students took centre stage in Bishop Auckland, by opening a pop-up art and photography exhibition in the old McIntyre’s building.

Over 40 students have exhibited work, that is accessible for the public to walk in and view free of charge.

The students have excelled themselves with the guidance and support from lecturers Julie Scorer, Art and Design, and John Alderson, Photography.

For me, as a local resident of Bishop Auckland it’s a fabulous idea, to use such an iconic venue, which is light and airy, with fantastic acoustics to showcase the work of local students.

If you’ve had the opportunity to visit the exhibition in the last few weeks, you’ll quite agree we have some fantastic, and talented creative students coming to the fore within our town and community.

With over 100 exhibition pieces from photography, abstract art, objects, clothing and fabric there is  a vast array of creative talent within the room to come in and see.

Whether it’s photography.

Or drawings and artwork.

Come in and be inspired.

Today, the students came together with Gillian Arnold to give up their free time to collaborate with their ‘On The Map’ project.

Gillian gave a talk about the inspiration behind the project and set the students off drawing some local landmarks, shops and businesses within the location of Bishop Auckland.

With some fantastic artwork, produced over a couple of hours to be included in the project.

Bishop Auckland College Art Exhibition runs until Monday 17th July, open from 11am-3pm.

Why not come along and show your support to our local students and our local community.

To learn more about Bishop Auckland College and the courses they can provide please visit their website:

Or alternatively, they have an open evening on Tuesday 11th July.


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Promoting Bishop Auckland


For all those that know me, they know that I’m a passionate person at the best of times.

When something captures my attention and then captures my heart, I want to do everything I can to help it improve.

My town of Bishop Auckland has my heart, it will always be considered as home no matter where I end up.

In different circumstances, I wouldn’t even be considering leaving, there is so much potential, and what some don’t see is there always was.

Throughout many of my blog articles I talk about what makes me proud, and there are many things within this town, if you take a moment to look and take everything in.

What is the biggest achievement of Bishop Auckland?

It’s the people.

That answer has never changed, it’s always been the people, hard workers, committed and passionate.

For me in an ideal world, one that you often catch yourself dreaming of, but unfortunately at times can never be a true reality.

I wouldn’t be leaving Bishop Auckland, I truly wouldn’t, I would of liked to have had an opportunity to work within the town, with a role that could afford me to make a difference, to give back and encourage even more visitors to visit the area.

Through my blog posts effectively I have been doing just that, creating further exposure of the Kynren project in the main, trying to attract more visitors, and ensure sell out shows.

But there is more to Bishop Auckland than just Kynren, believe me a whole lot more.


Like most towns up and down the country, town centres are struggling, and Bishop Auckland is no different, but the people are trying to improve it.

With the introduction of Kynren last year which attracted over 100,000 visitors to the show, new businesses in the town are slowly, but surely, starting to become attracted to the many different developments, that through both Auckland Castle Trust and Eleven Arches Trust are delivering.


The return of a weekly market has returned to the town in the past couple of weeks adding to what shoppers can purchase.

For me since becoming a finalist at the UK Blog Awards last month.


It’s provided me a large audience, UK wide and Internationally too, not focused on me, but focused on both Kynren and Bishop Auckland, and I want to carry that on.

I want to keep raising awareness of our great town, our businesses, our local charities, and what the fantastic people do to support our town.

So I’m reaching out a little bit, whilst I’m still here, I’d like to write more about our local community, I’d like to write about our people, to write blog postings regarding the businesses of our town and any events that are on to encourage and attract more visitors to our area and keep giving back.

If your business, charity organisation, event or you have ideas on what may be a good topic that I can write about to help promote your cause and Bishop Auckland to a wider audience, you can contact me here through my Facebook page.