Darlington Council launches Feethams House office scheme

Darlington Council launches Feethams House office scheme

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Darlington Borough Council has launched proposals to develop a new Grade A office building in the heart of the Town Centre.

The scheme is the next phase of development at Feethams and closely follows the Council’s successful delivery of the Feethams leisure complex, Department of Education (DfE) building and Business Central in Darlington.

The 30,000 sq ft building could be completed as soon as autumn 2019 and will occupy a former car park site, a five minute walk from Darlington train station which provides access to the East Coast mainline and direct connections to London. 

The completed building has potential to bring up to 300 new jobs to the town’s economy with the scheme targeting inward investment from corporate occupiers and ‘grow on’ space for SME’s. The town’s Business Central scheme opened in 2016 and is now 90% full demonstrating demand for high quality space within Darlington town centre.
 
The scheme is to be marketed by local property consultancy, Connect Property North East, together with Cushman & Wakefield, combining to deliver local, national and global market coverage. Work has already begun in seeking potential occupiers for the building ahead of construction.

Andrew Wilkinson, Director at Connect Property North East, commented: “Darlington has a strong indigenous business community but lacks high quality office space to retain its growing enterprises and attract new investment from business outside of the town. Feethams House will certainly address that shortage with a new standard of office accommodation for the town.”

Greg Davison, Head of Office Agency at Cushman & Wakefield’s Newcastle office said: “In Feethams House, we see a fantastic opportunity to deliver a scheme that can appeal to corporate occupiers of an international scale, as well as provide vital growth space for businesses established in the town to remain in the town. It is an important scheme for Darlington and plays to its many strengths.”

Councillor Chris Mc Ewan, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for economy and regeneration commented: “Feethams House is an important part of our vison for Darlington, cementing its position as a key business destination within the Tees Valley. As a Local Authority, we are very proud of what we have achieved in recent years and this gives us a further platform for economic growth in the Borough and specifically it will help increase footfall in the Town Centre.”

The masterplan for the site provides capacity for a further phase of equal scale, and the development is seen as a key driver in supporting the local economy, further increasing the vitality of the historic town centre.

Pipelay System order for Darlington based Ardmore Craig

Pipelay System order for Darlington based Ardmore Craig

Friday, November 03, 2017

Ardmore Craig, the North East of England based design and consultancy business is celebrating winning a contract award for concept and detail design of a modular pipe-lay spread for an un-named customer.

The new system, deemed a disruptive technology, will be designed in co-operation with its client and the team's advisors over the coming six months.

Based on the back of research and development activities undertaken by Ardmore Craig over the last few years the system aims to provide a wid range of functionality covering both lay activities and subsea handling maximising the cost effectiveness and benefits of the spread.

Director Andy Stevenson commented that the new award "confirmed the businesses approach to investing in R & D activities through the downturn of the oil and gas sector with it developing new ideas and concepts across a range of products and industries in which the company operates".

The latest award follows the businesses two hundredth commercial contract which was completed over the summer months and concerned modifications and supply of new designs for a subsea vehicle currently in use in the Asia Pacific region.

Separate to this, Ardmore Craig has established a partnership with an Aberdeen based oil and gas business allowing it to offer local project managment, offshore survey and risk management services helping to widen the company's offering and geographical presence.

For more information, contact:- 

http://www.ordmorecraig.com

andy_stevenson@ardmorecraig.com

£3.3m of funding secured for highways improvements

£3.3m of funding secured for highways improvements

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Darlington Borough Council has successfully secured £3.3m of funding from the Department for Transport (DfT) to provide highways improvements that will support Darlington’s growing economy.

Darlington Borough Council has successfully secured £3.3m of funding from the Department for Transport (DfT) to provide highways improvements that will support Darlington’s growing economy.

The funding from DfT’s National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) will be used on some of Darlington’s busiest routes to improve access to the town centre and sites around Central Park, Morton Palms and the Eastern Transport Corridor.

The improvements planned include:

  • McMullen Road/Yarm Road roundabout – extra lanes will be added to the roundabout to increase capacity and open up access to the proposed Ingenium Parc industrial hub.
  • Lingfield Way – the junction with Yarm Road will be signalised to ease access for traffic to and from Yarm Road Industrial Estate and support bus routes in the area. A new cycle route will be added to Lingfield Way.
  • Haughton Road through about – the junction will be changed to improve capacity to support the growth at Central Park, Lingfield and other parts of the town. This will include additional lanes, changes to pedestrian facilities and the way the junction works; moving towards a more conventional roundabout layout.

The project will link to planned investment announced by Highways England to reduce congestion at the A66 Morton Palms roundabout and complement works already underway along the A68, which will see improvements for Westpark, Faverdale and Cockerton.

This package of junction works follows comprehensive reviews of the traffic network to identify congestion hotspots and pinch points across the town that require improvements to support Darlington’s expanding economy.

A council spokeswoman said: “The funding secured by our highways team is great news for Darlington and helps to maintain the momentum that we have built up in terms of economic growth.

“As Darlington continues to thrive economically it will need changes to its infrastructure to support the new jobs and housing.

“The schemes supported by the NPIF will improve traffic flow on the local highway network and unlock key sites for development, which can be used to create greater job opportunities for residents.”       

Success for first ever Darlington Business Week

Success for first ever Darlington Business Week

Friday, September 22, 2017

Darlington's first ever Business Week is being hailed as an outstanding success

Hundreds of people attended across the five-day event which offered a range of free workshops and networking sessions for local businesses.

Local organisations, as well as Darlington Borough Council, the main organisers of the week, hosted the sessions which included a range of topics including marketing, starting a business, IT support, legal issues, doing business with the council, PR advice and information on the support available for employers who are carers. Alongside the business sessions there was special event aimed at encouraging apprenticeships and careers in engineering.

The sessions took place across a range of venues including the Dolphin Centre, Business Central, Teesside University Darlington campus, Rockliffe Hall Hotel, Bannatyne Hotel and the Forum Music Centre.

Councillor Chris McEwan, Darlington Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for economy and regeneration said:
“This was an ambitious project undertaken by a small but dedicated team and partner organisations. I am delighted it has been such a success. The week delivered on its promise to help local businesses tap into the expertise available, and use this to help grow and develop their business.

"Many of the sessions also gave businesses the chance to network with like-minded people, make new contacts and share experiences; essential for anyone in the world of business. In addition, it gave us the opportunity to showcase the Ingenious Darlington brand and encourage others to come under its umbrella as a brand for Darlington as a place to do business as well as live, work and enjoy leisure time.”

 

New era for Darlington markets

New era for Darlington markets

Friday, September 08, 2017

A NEW era in Darlington’s market town history is set to begin after a deal was signed between Darlington Borough Council and a private market operator.

A NEW era in Darlington’s market town history is set to begin after a deal was signed between Darlington Borough Council and a private market operator.

A 100-year lease has been signed with specialist market operator Market Asset Management (MAM), to take over operation of both the town’s Open and Covered Markets.

MAM has committed to significant investment into the Covered Market and Old Town Hall buildings with plans for improvements which will introduce new uses and extend opening hours into the evenings and weekend, with expansion of the Open Market operation. Ownership of the buildings remains with the Council, but MAM is responsible for maintenance and staffing.

Darlington’s historic Covered Market is a Grade II-listed building and alterations will be subject to approval by government conservation agency Historic England and Council consent.

MAM will work with existing traders and stakeholders over the next few months to finalise plans for the works. These will be implemented on a phased programme which ensures continuity of trade for stallholders.

Improvements will include a fully-glazed frontage to West Row to increase visibility for stalls inside the building. Public toilets will be provided within the building with improved lighting and heating, a foodcourt and events space for community use.

MAM will be working closely with existing stallholders during the redesign of the market hall and providing them with additional support to promote their offer from day one.

Jonathan Owen, a Director of MAM, said: “We are immensely enthusiastic about this venture and delighted with the support we have received from the Council. We look forward to working with the stallholders and traders to ensure the Markets sell Darlington town centre as a vibrant, exciting place to visit. The partnership is structured to create a key attraction which differentiates the town from competing attractions and promotes it as a retail and leisure destination with a difference.

“Our business is based on the trading success of our stallholders and traders. The improvements will provide better facilities, promotion and support to help them grow. We are acutely aware of the challenges which small businesses face and will be offering practical experience from elsewhere to support them”.

MAM is a looking to strengthen the Open Market and attracting new stallholders to the town by using its connections from elsewhere in the country.

Options include expanding the number of days the outdoor market operates in the town and a review of its location, perhaps moving it closer to the Covered Market building. MAM will be working with the Council to bring specialist Market attractions into the town and will take a key role in providing events and entertainment in the town centre.

Councillor Nick Wallis, Darlington Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Leisure and Local Environment, said: “As a Council we believe that the time is right for a step change in the way our markets operate and feel this can be best achieved by partnering with an experienced private sector operator. 

“MAM have that experience and they will get the full support of the Council to help them deliver our vision for Darlington Markets, which is to create a thriving place where people want to come and buy good produce and enjoy themselves. 

“Darlington is a market town and we believe this change will help promote Darlington town centre. The plans by MAM show a building that will be brought to life. The wider use of the Market Hall will attract more visitors and provide more customers for the stallholders in the market who will remain the backbone of the Covered Market.” 

Councillor Chris McEwan, Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration, added: “These are exciting times for Darlington town centre and I would encourage everyone to get behind our town centre and Markets by shopping, dining and socialising local.”

Plans for rail heritage celebrations win key support

Plans for rail heritage celebrations win key support

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

PLANS for a major celebration to mark the 200th anniversary of the opening of the Stockton and Darlington Railway have won the backing of key partners.

PLANS for a major celebration to mark the 200th anniversary of the opening of the Stockton and Darlington Railway have won the backing of key partners.

Heritage organisations and rail companies have thrown their support behind the proposals to celebrate the milestone date and create a rail heritage legacy that visitors to Darlington and the wider Tees Valley can enjoy for generations.     

The Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) has committed to leading the regeneration of Darlington’s North Road Heritage Quarter with the aim of creating a world class visitor experience that tells the story of the world’s first passenger railway.

A joint bid has also been made to Historic England by Darlington Borough Council, Stockton Borough Council and Durham County Council with TVCA to create a Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) based on the route of the original railway.

If successful, Historic England would prioritise its resources and expertise to the HAZ over a five year period, potentially unlocking grants and funding to deliver heritage regeneration projects along the track bed.

The plans to celebrate the 200th anniversary form the cornerstone of a wider visitor economy strategy for the town, which has been named Experience Darlington.

The aim of the strategy is to bring together Darlington’s key assets, including its rail heritage and revamped theatres, to make the town a visitor destination, generating up to £26m for the local economy.

The strategy has won support from a wide range of organisations including the Heritage Lottery Fund, Network Rail, Northern Rail, the A1 Trust and the Friends of Stockton and Darlington Railway.

Councillor Nick Wallis, Darlington Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Leisure and Local Environment, said: “The support from the Tees Valley Combined Authority is a huge boost to the plans to mark the 200th anniversary of the world’s first passenger railway.

 

“We have always said we had great ambitions for these celebrations and the support we have received from a number of heritage organisations and rail companies is testament to the importance of the anniversary.

“These plans are not just about 2025, however. We are looking to transform the North Road area and create an attraction that will continue to bring visitors to the town long after the anniversary celebrations.

“We will continue to work hard with our partners at Tees Valley Combined Authority, Stockton Borough Council and Durham County Council, to bring in external sources of funding to ensure the celebrations in 2025 will have an ongoing legacy.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said:  “We are delighted to be working with Darlington, Stockton and Durham Councils to ensure that full advantage is taken of the unique railway heritage this area has.

“I am committed to working with all stakeholders to maximise the cultural and economic opportunity for the area and am in the early stages of developing the detailed plans for the 2025 200th Anniversary of the first passenger railway, which brings with it national and international visitor potential.”

A “byte” to eat for free - digital support at Darlington Business Week

A “byte” to eat for free - digital support at Darlington Business Week

Monday, September 04, 2017

THE IMPORTANCE of technology in an ever- changing business environment is covered in a range of free workshops during Darlington’s first ever Business Week.

THE IMPORTANCE of technology in an ever- changing business environment is covered in a range of free workshops during Darlington’s first ever Business Week taking place from Monday 18 – Friday 22 September.

Cyber crime, data protection, developing a business using modern technology as well as practical advice and information on how to set up networks and online sales and marketing, are amongst the workshops on offer.

As the old traditional metal filing cabinets hit the scrap heap, businesses are becoming more and more reliant on digital technology to store commercial information and to carry out day to day business, laying themselves open to the potential problem of a cyber attack and other issues around data protection. To help businesses overcome this, a workshop will take place on the first day of Darlington Business Week, Monday 18 September from 1-4pm at Business Central.

As well as potential problems around online security, digital technology brings with it the power to transform a business. This is explored in a morning workshop presented by Digital City on Wednesday 20 September at Teesside University Darlington Campus. This event will show how traditional businesses are using technology to become more efficient and profitable and will include relevant case studies.

A free “byte” to eat is on offer for businesses attending an IT systems workshop on Wednesday 20 September from 11am-1pm at Business Central. This will cover software options and back-up solutions. Later in the day, also at Business Central, advice and information will be on offer at an online sales and marketing session.

Councillor Chris McEwan, Darlington Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Economy and Marketing said:

“Digital technology is advancing at an alarming rate and businesses must keep up to date if they want to develop and remain competitive. These workshops cover a wide range of work areas under the digital umbrella and will be useful to new and established businesses.”

Places on the workshops are free and can be booked by following the links from:

www.darlington.gov.uk/businessweek the page also details other events throughout the week.

For more information on Darlington Business Week, call the business team on 406305 or email business.support@darlington.gov.uk

Views invited on major business development site in Darlington

Views invited on major business development site in Darlington

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Residents and businesses are invited to have their say on the development of the Ingenium Parc masterplan, which could potentially see the creation over the long term of over 2,000 jobs for Darlington. Ingenium Parc is a key site earmarked previously for economic use within Darlington and is one of the top five Economic Growth priorities for the Borough. Covering an area of 40 hectares off Salters Lane (near Yarm Road), the site is close to a number of established advanced manufacturing and engineering businesses.

Residents and businesses are invited to have their say on the development of the Ingenium Parc masterplan, which could potentially see the creation over the long term of over 2,000 jobs for Darlington.

Ingenium Parc is a key site earmarked previously for economic use within Darlington and is one of the top five Economic Growth priorities for the Borough.

Covering an area of 40 hectares off Salters Lane (near Yarm Road), the site is close to a number of established advanced manufacturing and engineering businesses.

With transport links to the A66, the site is ideally placed to support the long term growth of manufacturing, engineering and logistics/distribution sectors.

The masterplan will guide the future development of the site to be an attractive environment and a great place to do business.

As part of this process the Council has commissioned a number of different pieces of work to help us understand the site, ranging from ground conditions and habitat to transport links, to ensure we have the complete picture. The outcomes from this, along with the views received from residents and businesses, will help inform the final masterplan.

This ambitious long term development will be delivered in phases and could start as soon as January 2018, depending on the planning process and agreement from senior councillors. The first phase has the potential to unlock eleven hectares and the opportunity to accommodate up to 1,100 jobs by 2021.

Councillor Chris McEwan, Darlington Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, said:

“With our excellent transport links and other benefits, Darlington has huge potential for economic growth. Ingenium Parc is an exciting opportunity and will help us to unlock more of this potential and put the borough on the map as place where businesses want to develop, invest and succeed.”

The Council is seeking views on the proposed masterplan, which can be viewed online at http://www.darlington.gov.uk/ingeniumparc

Potential work as part of phase 1 could include Yarm Road roundabout improvements, Salters Lane South upgrade and installation of infrastructure and services.  Subject to approval from both Cabinet and the planning department, this work could start early next year with completion by the end of 2019.

First development plots could be available from 2019/20. Any businesses/investors interested in the site are asked to contact the Council’s Business Investment Team.

Comments or queries can be emailed to economic.projects@darlington.gov.uk or posted to Economic Projects Team, Town Hall, Darlington, DL1 5QT.  Two consultation events, one for residents and one for businesses, will be held in September, dates are on the Ingenium Parc website.

Comments to be included in the masterplan need to be received by 26 September 2017.

Finalised plans will be put to Cabinet for consideration in October. 

Residents and businesses are invited to have their say on the development of the Ingenium Parc masterplan, which could potentially see the creation over the long term of over 2,000 jobs for Darlington.

Ingenium Parc is a key site earmarked previously for economic use within Darlington and is one of the top five Economic Growth priorities for the Borough.

Covering an area of 40 hectares off Salters Lane (near Yarm Road), the site is close to a number of established advanced manufacturing and engineering businesses.

With transport links to the A66, the site is ideally placed to support the long term growth of manufacturing, engineering and logistics/distribution sectors.

The masterplan will guide the future development of the site to be an attractive environment and a great place to do business.

As part of this process the Council has commissioned a number of different pieces of work to help us understand the site, ranging from ground conditions and habitat to transport links, to ensure we have the complete picture. The outcomes from this, along with the views received from residents and businesses, will help inform the final masterplan.

This ambitious long term development will be delivered in phases and could start as soon as January 2018, depending on the planning process and agreement from senior councillors. The first phase has the potential to unlock eleven hectares and the opportunity to accommodate up to 1,100 jobs by 2021.

Councillor Chris McEwan, Darlington Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, said:

“With our excellent transport links and other benefits, Darlington has huge potential for economic growth. Ingenium Parc is an exciting opportunity and will help us to unlock more of this potential and put the borough on the map as place where businesses want to develop, invest and succeed.”

The Council is seeking views on the proposed masterplan, which can be viewed online at http://www.darlington.gov.uk/ingeniumparc

Potential work as part of phase 1 could include Yarm Road roundabout improvements, Salters Lane South upgrade and installation of infrastructure and services.  Subject to approval from both Cabinet and the planning department, this work could start early next year with completion by the end of 2019.

First development plots could be available from 2019/20. Any businesses/investors interested in the site are asked to contact the Council’s Business Investment Team.

Comments or queries can be emailed to economic.projects@darlington.gov.uk or posted to Economic Projects Team, Town Hall, Darlington, DL1 5QT.  Two consultation events, one for residents and one for businesses, will be held in September, dates are on the Ingenium Parc website.

Comments to be included in the masterplan need to be received by 26 September 2017.

Finalised plans will be put to Cabinet for consideration in October. 

Have your say on Tees Valley road network improvements

Have your say on Tees Valley road network improvements

Monday, July 10, 2017

A series of public engagement sessions is being held to highlight the extensive improvements planned to the Tees Valley road network.

A series of public engagement sessions is being held to highlight the extensive improvements planned to the Tees Valley road network.

The events will set out proposals for enhanced road transport connections, including a new Tees Crossing to take pressure off the A19 Tees Viaduct and upgraded east-west connectivity with improvements to the A66 between the A1(M) and Teesport, which includes a new Darlington bypass.

This marks the end of an intensive process of analysis and option development, funded by the Department for Transport and supported by the Tees Valley Combined Authority, the five local councils and Highways England.  The events will set out the proposals for investment, as a critical part of the Northern Powerhouse, and for a modern and accessible road network.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said:  “When I was first elected Mayor, my first instruction to the team was that everything we do on transport has to put the passenger or motorist first. My view is simple: if it doesn’t help the traveller, or the business shifting goods, then we shouldn’t be doing it. 

“I urge members of the public to come view our ambitious plans for a safer, more reliable road network. If we get this right, and with your help, the opportunities for our area are unlimited.”

Chair of Tees Valley Combined Authority Transport Committee Bill Dixon said:  “For far too long residents of Tees Valley have suffered from frustrating delays where our major roads are not equipped to deal with the volume of traffic.

“These impressive plans will make Tees Valley an even better place to live, work and do business.”

The details of the events are as follows:-

• The Arc, Dovecot Street, Stockton-on-Tees TS18 1LL – Wednesday 12th July 2017 2-6pm

• The Dolphin Centre, Darlington, DL1 5RP – Thursday 13th July 2017 1-6pm

• Central Square, Hillstreet Centre (next to Superdrug), Middlesbrough TS1 1SU – Friday 14th July 12-4pm

•  Redcar and Cleveland Community Heart, Ridley Street, Redcar TS10 1TD – Saturday 15th July 10am-4pm

For more details about the plans click here.

Darlington’s newest public open space set to open

Darlington’s newest public open space set to open

Monday, July 03, 2017

New riverside park scheme is unveiled.

Town centre users in Darlington can enjoy time by the river as the riverside park scheme, Darlington’s newest public open space, opens to the public on Monday 3 July.

In little over four months, the area, which was once a car park at the rear of the Town Hall, has been transformed into a public open space with landscaping (including new trees and shrubs), new seating, improved lighting and improved walkways and cycle paths. The park now links the new Feethams Leisure development with St Cuthbert’s churchyard boundary to create a linear park along the river.

Whilst the main construction and landscaping work is now complete, seeded areas will take longer to grow. It is hoped that the completed green look of the park will be celebrated as part of the Festival of Ingenuity taking place in Darlington from Friday 22 – Saturday 23 September.A new viewing platform, looking out across the Skerne, will give park users a different view of the river. The area is on the original site of the Bishop’s Palace and an information board and some of the stonework from the Palace has been used in the scheme.  Also in place is a new pergola and seating area, known as the ‘Lions Den’ which has kindly been supported by the Darlington Lions Club as part of their celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of Lions Clubs International.

Most of the funding for the scheme was secured as part of the joint investment with the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) in making the nearby Feethams Leisure development happen. This joint investment is an ideal way of securing a better environment for both the Feethams Leisure scheme and the riverside.  The cash was ringfenced to the development scheme, and demonstrates the Council working in partnership with Government agencies like the HCA to improve the town’s offer. 

Funding was also secured from Local Growth Fund through Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) through the sustainable access to employment programme.

Councillor Bill Dixon, Leader of Darlington Borough Council, said:

“This area has been completely transformed into a natural oasis on the doorstep of our town centre. The riverside has been opened up and is ready to be enjoyed in the coming summer months by locals and visitors alike.

“This part of the town played a crucial part in the birth of Darlington, being one of the first bridging points of the river. It is fitting that the rich heritage of the site is recognised in the scheme. The natural environment will also benefit with newly created habitats. Many thanks to the HCA for their funding,TVCA, and to the Darlington Lions for their kind generosity.”

Marie Kiddell, Head of Public Sector Land for HCA added:

"The positive impact of our £450,000 is fantastic. Working with our Partners at Darlington Borough Council, we have made a real and lasting difference to the Town.  I look forward to coming back and enjoying the park as it matures over the next few years."

Jenny Lumley, Darlington Lions President (from 1 July), said:

”The riverside development has been a perfect opportunity for us to celebrate 100 years of international Lionism. We hope the Lions Den will be a lasting reminder of our service within the community.”

Ample parking is available at Feethams multi storey car park, with the 650 spaces replacing spaces lost at the Town Hall and other car parks. The Feethams car park is pay on foot, and also contains motorcycle parking and electric vehicle charging points. More details of alternative car parking can be found at www.darlington.gov.uk/carparking

More details of the Riverside Scheme can be found at www.darlington.gov.uk/riversidepark