**CONSETT, December 22, 2023** – In a momentous event for the Consett community, the eagerly awaited Queensway Arcade was officially opened. The ceremony, held on the 22nd of December at 2 pm, saw Durham County Councillor Alex Watson OBE unveil the new thoroughfare, connecting Albert Road Car Park near The Demi to bustling Middle Street.

Councillor Watson, in his opening remarks, emphasised the significance of Queensway Arcade as a “vital access point,” particularly lauding its role in aiding disabled patrons. The Arcade, conveniently located next to disabled car parking bays, marks a substantial improvement in accessibility in the area.

A key figure in this development, Gavin Bennett of Queensway Orthodontics, was also present to celebrate this achievement. His collaboration with Councillor Watson and Project Genesis has been pivotal in enhancing security and accessibility around Middle Street and Albert Road. Bennett’s commitment to the community, especially in supporting those with disabilities, was evident in his words, “Queensway Orthodontics are committed to work with the community of the Consett area.”

The opening was particularly meaningful for locals like Tom Maddison, a registered disabled resident, who described the restored access to Middle Street as a “lifeline.” He also highlighted the need for more accessible parking spaces, a sentiment echoed by many at the event.

The ceremony, captured in a photograph, showed Councillor Watson alongside community members including Bethany from Queensway Orthodontics, Keith Whittaker, and Tom and Wendy Maddison. The image radiates the community spirit and inclusivity that defined the event, a sentiment that resonates throughout Consett.

Queensway Arcade stands as a testament to the power of community collaboration and the commitment to making Consett a more inclusive and accessible place for all. As we step into the arcade, we step into a future where every member of our community finds their path a little easier to tread.

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