Report number: 16/2019

Title Former Central Stores to Bishop Auckland Co-operative Society 80 Newgate Street, Bishop Auckland: Historic Building Report
Summary The subject of this report is the former Bishop Auckland Co-operative Society Stores located on Newgate Street, Bishop Auckland, Co. Durham. It sits within the Bishop Auckland Conservation Area, south of the historic core, and is listed Grade II (NHLE 1292114). The three-storey frontage on Newgate Street as it exists today was built in four main phases: the first section of the building was built in 1873; in 1882-83 this was extended to the north into a tripartite arrangement with a central gabled block; this extension was replicated to the south side of the original building in 1892-94 to form a complete elevation of five blocks; the final phase of expansion resulted from the purchase in 1902 of the adjoining pre-existing building, dated 1894. Behind the street frontage the building comprises warehousing and offices ranging in date from circa 1883-1961. The building is known locally either as ‘the Co-op’ or ‘Beales’, the latter being the final company to operate in the premises. Throughout this report the terms ‘central stores’ and ‘co-operative stores’ are used to refer to the building as these terms were used interchangeably by the Bishop Auckland Co-operative Society. The Society ceased independent operation in 1968, but the building remained in Cooperative ownership, following a series of mergers and take-overs, until 2011 when it was sold to Beales Department Stores. Beales closed its Bishop Auckland branch in 2017 and, despite discussions regarding the potential reopening in 2018, the buildings remain vacant. This report was commissioned in late 2018 as part of a programme of work relating to the Bishop Auckland Heritage Action Zone, and is intended to provide a more detailed understanding of the building fabric and historical context, through a combined programme of physical inspection and historical research. The significance of the building is in large part connected to its role at the centre of an organisation which served the people of Bishop Auckland for over 100 years. The central stores represent the position of the Co-operative Society in the town, its development and expansion to offer new goods and services, and a rich history of local enterprise and social memory. The phasing of the building physically reflects this and it exists in a national context of the Co-operative Movement’s architecture.
Series Research Department Reports
Pages 191
  • Alastair Coey Architects
Keywords Building Investigation ,  Modern ,  Standing Building