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Proud residents suggest ideas to transform Victoria Road

Proud residents suggest ideas to transform Victoria Road

Friday, April 12, 2019

Victoria Road residents are proud of where they live but recognise there’s room for improvement according to a recent survey.

Victoria Road residents are proud of where they live but recognise there’s room for improvement according to a recent survey.

Darlington Borough Council (DBC) commissioned Groundwork North East and Cumbria to carry out some work with residents and businesses in the Victoria Road area of the town to find out how it could be transformed.

The consultation was carried out as part of DBC’s ambitious plans to develop Darlington train station.  Victoria Road has been identified as a key street as it links the station with the town centre.

During the consultation which was carried out in November and January, the amount and speed of traffic and the lack of a cycle lane a problem was felt to be an issue. Residents also recalled when the Victoria Road area had been a community with local shops and services with many saying they would like to see a wider variety of shops introduced along with more green spaces and action taken to make the area feel safer. 

DBC is now using the findings of the report to explore which of the elements had public support and could be taken forward.

The designs will be presented back to local residents and businesses later in the year for their views.

Assistant director for transport and capital projects, Dave Winstanley said: “It’s great to hear those living and working in the Victoria Road area are proud of where they live and are also keen to get involved in shaping the future of their area.

“The consultation has given us real food for thought. We’ve been given some clear direction and although some of the ideas discussed won’t go ahead we will be developing ideas that were well received.  A one-way system on Waverley Terrace for example will not be explored any further as this did not have public support.

“I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to feed in their views, hopefully they will start to see their ideas come to fruition as we work together to make Darlington even better.”

The full report from Groundwork North East and Cumbria can be found at www.darlington.gov.uk/your-council/consultations and a paper copy is available to read at the town hall.

Making every penny count for the people of Darlington

Making every penny count for the people of Darlington

Thursday, March 14, 2019

We want to make every penny count for the people of Darlington – that’s the message from Chris McEwan, Deputy Leader of Darlington Borough Council (DBC) and DBCs cabinet member for Economy and Regeneration.

We want to make every penny count for the people of Darlington – that’s the message from Chris McEwan, Deputy Leader of Darlington Borough Council (DBC) and DBCs cabinet member for Economy and Regeneration.

DBC is working with the centre for local economic strategies (CLES), who are experts in advising organisations on how to get the best possible value for money when buying goods and services, including social, economic and environmental benefits for local communities.

Work will include looking at how DBC buys goods and services to make sure that whenever the council spends money it benefits the borough as much as possible.   This includes investing in businesses and employers who are local and who provide additional social and environmental benefits as part of their delivery.

We will also be working closely with our partners, including other public sector providers and businesses, to make sure the money we spend collectively helps to build local wealth and improve quality of life and wellbeing for people across Darlington.

The work is part of our commitment to the Fairer Richer Darlington Charter, a ground breaking strategy to help people in Darlington who are struggling financially by co-ordinating existing work across the borough, as well as spearheading new multi-agency initiatives.

Councillor McEwan said: “We’ve considered social value when buying goods and services for a while now, in order to take into account those suppliers who can add some real value for the people of Darlington, whether it’s by supporting our local economy, committing to employing local people or funding community projects, but it’s important to make sure that if we can be doing more, we do.

“By reviewing our approach and engaging our public sector partners to work with us, Darlington will join a small but growing list of UK towns and cities proactively undertaking wealth building activities. We want to make sure the real economic successes we continue to see in Darlington are enjoyed by the people who live here with new jobs and opportunities for people to benefit from, building a fairer and richer Darlington for everyone.”

Darlington Borough Council’s endorsement of the Fairer Richer Darlington Charter signifies its commitment to the long term programme underpinning it, including lots of new projects over the coming months across the borough.

For more information on the charter please visit https://www.onedarlington.org.uk/

Darlington dines out in support of restaurant week

Darlington dines out in support of restaurant week

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

The first ever Darlington restaurant week has been hailed a success after diners made the most of the two courses for £10 offer.

The first ever Darlington restaurant week has been hailed a success after diners made the most of the two courses for £10 offer.

The week-long event, which ran from 25th February until 3rd March, saw significantly more diners than usual through the doors of those restaurants involved, as people took advantage of the offer.

The event was organised by the Darlington Borough Council Town Centre Partnership and was signed up to by 28 restaurants or cafes across the town centre.

Feedback from the restaurants involved has been very positive and included:

“Restaurant week has helped to kick off our business. We’ve had lots of people asking about our two course specials. Thumbs up!” - Allegria, an Italian restaurant on Northgate.

“It was a great success. very, very busy. We will definitely take part again” - Voodoo, a Mexican restaurant and bar on Skinnergate.

“We were very busy during Restaurant Week, we’ve taken lots of bookings from new customers too” - Al Forno, an Italian restaurant on Skinnergate.

“Restaurant Week was very successful for us. We were busy every night and takings were up substantially. We are looking forward to the next Restaurant Week.” -  Picco Bar & Pizzeria an Italian restaurant on Bondgate

The restaurants that took part were: Akbar The Great, Al Forno, Allegria, Bangsean Thai, Dolphin Centre, Hash Bar, Hatch Luncheonette, Hole in the Wall, Houndgate Townhouse, Influence Café, Mercure Darlington King’s Hotel, Meze, Oven, Picco, Salvo’s, San Paolo, Santorini Greek Café, Sol Tapas, Tanners Hall, The Chinese Buffet, The Old Tapas Bar, The Pennyweight, The Waterhouse, The Woollen Mill, Uno Momento, Voodoo, Wandering Duck, William Stead.

The next restaurant week is already being planned for November.

Discover Darlington this half term with the new town guide

Discover Darlington this half term with the new town guide

Monday, February 18, 2019

Happy half term everyone and what a perfect time to launch the new guide to Darlington! The Darlington guide is now available to help visitors enjoy all our town has to offer.

Happy half term everyone and what a perfect time to launch the new guide to Darlington!

The Darlington guide is now available to help visitors enjoy all our town has to offer.

The guide has been produced in partnership with local businesses as part of the Enjoy Darlington campaign which is aimed at promoting Darlington as a tourist destination and location of choice for both business and leisure.

Included are details of shops, car parks and points of interest in and around the town centre and it also features a brief history of a range of modern, historic and other interesting landmarks and buildings around the town.

Printed in full colour and on recycled paper, the handy sized fold out guide is available at town centre venues including the library, Dolphin Centre, Head of Steam as well as local and nearby hotels.

Make sure you pick one up!

Included on the photograph are Katie Greenwood from Darlington Borough Council, Tori Gill from TGI Media, Beryl Hankin from Guru Boutique, Andrew Kukk from VIP Vape and John Price from Mercure King's Grill

 

 

 

New business set to open doors in Darlington

New business set to open doors in Darlington

Monday, February 11, 2019

THE DOORS are set to open on a new business in Darlington as technical mouldings company, Thysis, completes its expansion move to the town. Supported by Darlington Borough Council’s Business Support team, the Darlington venture will see the creation of around 50 new jobs for the town.

THE DOORS are set to open on a new business in Darlington as technical mouldings company, Thysis, completes its expansion move to the town. Supported by Darlington Borough Council’s Business Support team, the Darlington venture will see the creation of around 50 new jobs for the town.

Responding to news that Thysis was keen to expand in the area, the Business Support team worked with them to find suitable premises and has helped introduce them to partner organisations able to help with the move and potential future expansion plans.

Based in York, the thermoplastics business has signed a ten year lease on the former EE data centre site on Yarm Road Industrial Estate. The move places them closer to one of their key customers and offers good access to the key transport links of the A1 (M), A66 and A19.

Terry Goodwin, managing director at Thysis, said:

“This is a really exciting time for us and we are delighted with the support we have had from the council’s business support team.

“The practical help we have had from the council’s business team has proved invaluable. The team has used their local knowledge and connections to help with signage and building alterations as well as assisting with specialist recruitment to make sure we are fully operational when the doors open.”

Councillor Chris McEwan, Darlington Borough Council’s Deputy Leader and cabinet member for Economy and Regeneration, said:

“I am delighted to welcome Thysis to the town and pleased that they have been well supported by our business team. The excellent transport links and local business support have proved key to Thysis making their decision to expand here.

“This news ties in well with our plans for Darlington as a place to do business as the new Ingenium Parc takes shape close by with the potential to create a further 2,000 jobs for the borough.”

The council’s Business Support team offers help and advice to Darlington businesses and to outside companies looking to move to the Borough. They can offer help with finding suitable sites and premises, recruiting staff, access to funding and introductions to specialist business networks. They can be contacted on 406305 or email:  business.support@darlington.gov.uk

Council leads the way for a fairer and richer Darlington

Council leads the way for a fairer and richer Darlington

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Darlington Borough Council alongside partner agencies, is pledging its commitment to the Fairer Richer Darlington Charter, a ground breaking strategy to help people in Darlington who are struggling financially.

Darlington Borough Council (DBC), alongside partner agencies, is pledging its commitment to the Fairer Richer Darlington Charter, a ground breaking strategy to help people in Darlington who are struggling financially.

The charter will bring together existing work that’s going on across Darlington to tackle this problem, as well as spearheading new multi-agency initiatives.

Councillor Chris McEwan, Deputy Leader of DBC and DBCs cabinet member for Economy and Regeneration said: “The fact the council is stepping up as a key signatory to the One Darlington Partnership Fairer Richer Darlington Charter, is a hugely positive thing for those living and working in Darlington.

“The partnership want to lead the way in reducing the gap between those who are struggling and the rest of the community, creating a fairer, richer Darlington for everyone.

“The charter is a formal and public statement of our collective intent to support activity that will make Darlington as wealthy as it can be.”

Darlington Borough Council’s endorsement of the Fairer Richer Darlington Charter signifies its commitment to the long term programme underpinning it, with lots of work going on over the coming months across Darlington as part of it.

A good example of work already underway in support of the charter is the #DarloMillions initiative which is a scheme aimed at helping residents identify and claim money they are owed.  In just ten months more than £1m has been paid to people who didn’t realise they were entitled to financial help, mostly people with a disability and families with children.

For more information on the charter please visit https://www.onedarlington.org.uk/

 

Leader's in-principle support for airport plans

Leader's in-principle support for airport plans

Friday, January 18, 2019

Councillor Stephen Harker, Leader of Darlington Borough Council, has revealed his intentions in relation to the upcoming vote at the Tees Valley Combined Authority Cabinet on 24 January.

Councillor Stephen Harker, Leader of Darlington Borough Council, has revealed his intentions in relation to the upcoming vote at the Tees Valley Combined Authority Cabinet on 24 January.

He said: “When the Mayor first put forward his sketchy outline to buy the airport a couple of months ago, I was asked for my views.

“I said, quite categorically, at the time, that I would love to see a successful local airport. But, at that time the Mayor gave no further details – no details of how much public money was to be spent, no business case, no details of risk – so I couldn’t say whether the plan could be supported. This is public money – it is only right and proper that I have sight of the full facts before making a decision.

“Over several weeks I, along with the other Tees Valley Leaders, have been asking the Mayor for documentation that details the plan. Only in the past week has sufficient documentation finally been released.

“I am now clearer about what’s being proposed, what it is likely to cost, what risks there are, and crucially what’s intended with regards to actual flights.

“I am satisfied that the economic case for purchasing the airport is worth the level of investment and risk. Everyone does need to know that this is still not without risk, and that further investment will certainly be needed for years to come. While the airport can bring economic and employment benefits, and hopefully greater options for leisure, the airport itself will still need financial support.

“Various long term scenarios are highlighted in the Mayor’s plan for the airport. Naturally, I hope the more ambitious of those come about. But nothing is guaranteed.

“So yes, I will be supporting the airport proposals. There is risk, but on balance the potential benefits outweigh those risks. Let’s wish the airport success.

“Finally, let’s not forget at next week’s Cabinet the airport is only one part Investment Plan that is discussed. There are many more schemes being proposed – supporting better transport across the Tess Valley, supporting new businesses, investing in education and training to name a few. It would be good to talk about those too – but perhaps another day.”

Making Darlington a living and working town centre

Making Darlington a living and working town centre

Monday, December 31, 2018

Early ideas on plans and proposals to revitalise Darlington’s town centre through targeted investment in key areas are to be discussed by cabinet members. The Strategic Sites Development Programme for Darlington town centre will examine how the changing needs of the High Street can be accommodated and helped to succeed in the coming months and years.

Early ideas on plans and proposals to revitalise Darlington’s town centre through targeted investment in key areas are to be discussed by cabinet members.

The Strategic Sites Development Programme for Darlington town centre will examine how the changing needs of the High Street can be accommodated and helped to succeed in the coming months and years.

Initial proposals see a mix of retail, leisure, business and residential uses in a more compact town centre.

The report will be discussed by cabinet members on 8 January.

Four areas in the town centre have been earmarked as strategically important:

  • The Victorian Indoor Market – a unique attraction for Darlington, a refurbished and refreshed Indoor Market will be a key anchor for quality retail and fresh food offer.
     
  • Skinnergate – provides opportunities for mixed use retail and residential use which will increase footfall and make the area more vibrant
     
  • Northgate – the loss of M&S was a blow to this part of town – mixed use developments, including residential, may be considered to bring this area back to life
     
  • Crown Street – an area mostly in private ownership, officers are working with property owners to understand their aspirations and look at what can be achieved. Any work in this area will complement the council’s commitment to refurbish Crown Street library, likely to take place in 2019/20.

Councillor Chris McEwan, cabinet member for economy and regeneration, said: “The retail landscape has been changing across the country for several years but this year has seen some seismic shifts, particularly in the role of anchor department stores in town centre.

“Darlington hasn’t been immune to this but we still have a high proportion of national retailers and a strong independent sector, complemented by our leisure offer which was boosted by the Feethams development.

“We’re taking a holistic approach to the future of the town centre and looking at how we can secure Government funding, as well as working alongside private investors, to future-proof our town centre.

“The town centre is vital not only to our economy but also to our sense of community and well-being as a town.”

If the report is agreed by cabinet members, a period of consultation and community engagement will take place on the individual proposals as they develop further.

Funding for any work will be subject to the type of scheme that is decided on, the availability of Government funding and commitments from private investors, as well as the council’s own budgets.

Early feasibility work referred to in the report is being funded through the Government’s Estate Regeneration Fund and the council’s advanced design fees budget.

Work set to get underway on Ingenium Parc industrial site

Work set to get underway on Ingenium Parc industrial site

Monday, December 10, 2018

The first phase of development work on a new industrial site that aims to create more than 2,000 jobs in the coming years is set to get underway. Ingenium Parc, a 40-hectare site on Salters Lane, off Yarm Road, Darlington, is a £5m project funded by the Tees Valley Combined Authority and the Department for Transport.

The first phase of development work on a new industrial site that aims to create more than 2,000 jobs in the coming years is set to get underway.

Ingenium Parc, a 40-hectare site on Salters Lane, off Yarm Road, Darlington, is a £5m project funded by the Tees Valley Combined Authority and the Department for Transport.

The leader of Darlington Borough Council, Stephen Harker, was joined at the site by Cllr Chris McEwan, deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for economy and regeneration, to officially mark the beginning of the first phase of development work.

The first phase of the projects includes highways improvements, a new access road, utilities and ecological work across the site.

  • To open up access to the site, works are being carried out on the Yarm Road/McMullen Road roundabout which will provide two lanes on each approach to the roundabout, and around the roundabout. There will also be new footpath and cycle path links in the area.

 

  • A new road into the site and on-site utilities will also be built and installed to allow development of the first 11.5 hectares, with the aim of creating up to 1,000 jobs by 2021.
     
  • Extensive work has already been carried out on site to protect its ecological biodiversity. Officers have worked closely with Natural England to mitigate any loss and to enhance the natural habitats on the site and the adjacent nature reserve.

Councillor Harker, leader of the council, said: “Ingenium Parc will create high-quality industrial employment opportunities for the next generation – it will be an excellent addition to support Darlington’s growing economy.

“The site is well placed for access to the motorway network and will provide opportunities for our skilled workforce.

“We’re well aware of the importance of the site for its biodiversity and we’ve gone to great lengths to mitigate against any impact. The masterplan for the development includes enhanced habitats and green infrastructure to ensure that industry sits seamlessly alongside nature.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “I’m delighted yet another project we’ve helped fund has seen spades in the ground this year.

“Companies looking to make the Tees Valley their home, and also our successful growing businesses, are crying out for the sort of high-quality industrial space Ingenium Parc will provide.

“This will be another string to Darlington’s bow, giving brilliant opportunities for even more inward investment, job creation and economic growth, not just for the town, but for the wider Tees Valley.”

Jake Berry, Minister for the Northern Powerhouse, said:  “This government is committed to boosting economic growth across the whole of the Northern Powerhouse and building a country that works for everyone. We have a great example here in Tees Valley of how Ben Houchen is championing that growth.

“Our £3.9 million investment in the Ingenium Parc industrial site is a great example of our modern Industrial Strategy and the work that is taking place across Tees Valley, to regenerate the area and encourage Clean Growth. The project will enhance the site’s biodiversity, attract businesses to the area and create more than 2000 jobs - making Darlington a better place to live, work and do business.”

The first development plots will be available from 2019/20 - businesses/investors interested in the site should contact the council’s business investment team on 01325 406305.

 

Vision revealed at £100M logistics park - Symmetry Park

Vision revealed at £100M logistics park - Symmetry Park

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

National logistics developer, db symmetry, in partnership with Durham Cathedral, has exclusively unveiled how its new 2.1 million sq ft development in Darlington

will look when completed, bringing a major economic asset to the region.

The reveal comes as construction for Symmetry Park Darlington gathers pace with the steelwork already completed for the first phase of the £100 million logistics and distribution hub.   ISG Construction is main contractor for the 1.5 million sq ft building which is already pre-let on a 20-year lease to a world leading online retailer. The development is being funded by TRITAX Big Box REIT.

Symmetry Park, Darlington is a 90-acre site located on the A66, seven miles from Junction 57 of the A1 motorway and 20 miles from Tees Port.  Since acquiring the site last November db symmetry has secured planning consent for over 1.6 million sq ft of B1, B2 and B8 uses and intends to gain outline consent for a further 500,000 sq ft on the remaining 37 acres.

Last week db symmetry hosted an event in Newcastle to officially launch the scheme to North East agents representing the potential occupier market with a strong marketing drive to showcase the key attributes of the site in terms of specification and location.   With the potential to create around 3,500 new jobs and contribute £180 million to the regional economy Symmetry Park Darlington is a significant new asset for regional and national investment.

Speaking at the event, Andrew Dickman, Director at db symmetry said, “We are pleased to formally bring Symmetry Park Darlington to market as an exceptionally strong proposition to those seeking a base in the North East.  Having already pre-let a significant proportion of the site to a high calibre operator, we are in a strong position with funding in place and full site infrastructure construction underway.  We can offer bespoke design and build options from 50,000 sq ft to 500,000 sq ft and potential for roadside amenities in the form of a hotel, a petrol filling station, drive through, restaurants and offices.

Andrew Gent of Gent Visick said, “Symmetry Park, Darlington has secured one of the most significant investments in the north east in recent times. The key driver for this investment being the availability of labour and the excellent road communications. The development can still offer an occupier a large-scale single footprint unit or can be built out in a series of smaller units from 50,000 sq ft.”

For more information on space available at Symmetry Park and how Darlington can support your business, contact the Business Investment and Growth team on 01325 406305.