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£24.9m support for business in Darlington

£24.9m support for business in Darlington

Friday, August 21, 2020

Almost £25m of support has been given to over 2,000 Darlington businesses to help them survive the COVID-19 pandemic

Almost £25m of support has been given to over 2,000 Darlington businesses to help them survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
The cash injection has come from central government through a range of schemes designed to help businesses survive the difficult trading conditions through the lockdown period.

The grants and loans have been administered through Darlington Borough Council with teams working under pressure to meet deadlines and get support to those who needed it as quickly as possible.

In many cases council staff had only weeks to devise and administer the grants compared to normal schemes that can take months to set up. The breakdown of support is as follows: Small Business Grants & Retail, Hospitality, Leisure Grants - £23,765,000; Discretionary Grants - £1,150,000.

Leader of Darlington Borough Council, Councillor Heather Scott, said:

“These have been incredibly challenging times for business locally and nationally, with little or no revenue coming in and bills to pay. Thankfully, through these grants from central government, we have been able to offer a lifeline to help local businesses survive.

“Time was of the essence in dealing with this situation. We had to make sure that grants reached businesses quickly before it was too late. Recognition must go to the dedicated teams of council staff who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure these grants were administered and distributed in what must be record time.”

Continued help and support is available through the council’s business support team. They can be contacted by email at business.support@darlington.gov.uk

 

DeepOcean signs up as first Feethams House tenant

DeepOcean signs up as first Feethams House tenant

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

DeepOcean has signed up with Darlington Borough Council to locate its UK headquarters in the new Feethams House development.

DeepOcean has signed up with Darlington Borough Council to locate its UK headquarters in the new Feethams House development.

The global subsea services company will move from its existing premises in the town to the new development in the coming months, continuing the company’s 27-year association with Darlington. It has taken the entire top floor of Feethams House, covering over 7000 sq ft.

Feethams House will also provide a base for DeepOcean’s subsea trenching and seabed intervention division, Enshore, with staff working between Darlington and its facility at the Port of Blyth in the development, maintenance and operation of the world’s most advanced fleet of underwater trenching vehicles.

Feethams House is an £8.5m office complex in the heart of Darlington town centre. The five-storey building, next to the DL1 leisure complex, has been funded by Darlington Borough Council, the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority and the European Regional Development Fund.

The building offers accommodation for small and medium businesses in the professional services, digital and creative fields. Work on the 30,000sq ft building is scheduled to be completed by spring.

Pierre Boyde, Managing Director of Enshore, said: “The North East continues to grow in strategic importance for DeepOcean and Enshore, and this new office will support the continued development of our activities.  We have always benefited from the excellent talent pool in Darlington and the wider North East and this new office will also further help us attract people to work at DeepOcean from beyond the region.

“Our vision is to be the world’s leading subsea services provider. We are excited by the tremendous opportunities in the offshore wind industry, both in the UK and further afield as well as rising to the challenge of sourcing metals from the ocean floor in an environmentally sustainable way that supports the transition away from fossil fuels to a low carbon economy.

“Feethams House provides a long-term, sustainable location from which to grow our business and will allow us to also continue to benefit from Darlington’s excellent transport links, which very much supports both our domestic and international operations.”

Councillor Heather Scott, leader of Darlington Borough Council, said: “We’re delighted to welcome DeepOcean as the first tenant in Feethams House. It is a company that has been in Darlington for a long time and has been looking for a new office location for a while. This is a signal of the confidence it has in this new building, and in the town and we wish them every success in the future.

“There are a number of potential other tenants interested in the remaining available space and we invite anyone looking to grow their business or move to more suitable accommodation to contact us. Feethams House is a high-quality building that makes the most of Darlington’s excellent rail links and its proximity to the town centre.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “The Grade-A office space at Feethams House is fundamental to attracting top-quality businesses to Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool and retaining fantastic companies such as DeepOcean that have already showed huge commitment to our region. We know the potential of Feethams House, which is why we agreed to invest £3.2million into the project.

“I’m delighted that DeepOcean, a growing business which will play a crucial role in the offshore sector in our region is the first to come on board. This news follows the announcement last week that we have submitted our plans to government to transform Darlington Railway Station, less than ten minutes away, which will provide even better connectivity to our capital and major cities for business. This, coupled with the return of a direct flight to London from Teesside International from April 27th, means the capital has never been easier to get to for business.”

Peter Gibson, Member of Parliament for Darlington said: “I very pleased that DeepOcean has chosen to locate its UK Headquarters in what I’m sure will become a thriving business hub for our town.  Feethams House is a first-class development in the heart of Darlington.  Its state-of-the-art, energy efficient, attractive facilities are conveniently located, and well appointed, giving us, as a town, the opportunity to attract new job creating businesses to the area.”

 

 

Darlington awarded Purple Flag status

Darlington awarded Purple Flag status

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Fantastic news – after a rigorous assessment process, Darlington has become the first town in the North East to be awarded Purple Flag status.

Fantastic news – after a rigorous assessment process, Darlington has become the first town in the North East to be awarded Purple Flag status, a standard awarded to those towns and cities across the UK that offer safe and enjoyable nights out.

The council, along with the police and other organisations and businesses from across the town centre worked closely together for several months in the lead up to submitting the application before Christmas.  As part of the feedback the assessment panel commented they were highly impressed with the submission.  

Part of the assessment process also involved a team of national expert assessors visiting our town on a busy Friday evening in December.

The assessors were looking for how safe and welcoming the town felt, how easy it was to move around the town and to get home safely, how good the range of leisure and entertainment venues were in terms of choice, and how the town generally looked and felt.

The group received a warm welcome from Darlington Hippodrome, The Forum and Vue Cinema to name just a few of the town centre venues visited during the assessment evening.

The Purple Flag standard is an accreditation process similar to the Green Flag award for parks and the Blue Flag for beaches. It helps people to quickly identify town and city centres that offer an entertaining, varied, safe and enjoyable night out.  

Darlington will be awarded the flag and presented with the certificate at a ceremony hosted by the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) in April.

Leader of the Council Heather Scott said: “This is excellent news for our town and sends out a clear message – Darlington is a thriving and buzzing town and very much a destination of choice for a safe and enjoyable evening out.

“As Council Leader I’m very proud of what’s on offer in Darlington and how well our local businesses, the Council and other partners have work together to showcase the very best Darlington has to offer as part of the assessment process.

“I hope our Purple Flag status will encourage more people to visit Darlington for an evening out and make the most of the many restaurants, bars and entertainment venues we are lucky enough to have. 

Jasmin Robson owner of Hash and Hatch said: “We are delighted to be the first town in the North East to be awarded Purple Flag.  It’s been a real team effort from all involved in submitting the application and making sure we were inspection ready.

“I am really proud to be involved, and hope it encourages more people to come to Darlington for an enjoyable and safe night out.”

Good progress being made on throughabout conversion project

Good progress being made on throughabout conversion project

Friday, January 17, 2020

Works to convert the former Haughton Road throughabout to a more conventional roundabout are on track to be complete this Spring. Preparation works on site are now almost complete and the next phase of works, to reshape the roundabout to create additional lanes and the widening of the road towards Darlington College, are set to get underway.

Works to convert the former Haughton Road throughabout to a more conventional roundabout are on track to be complete this Spring.

Preparation works on site are now almost complete and the next phase of works, to reshape the roundabout to create additional lanes and the widening of the road towards Darlington College, are set to get underway.

The improvement scheme is being delivered by Darlington Borough Council and is jointly funded by the council and Tees Valley Combined Authority through the National Productivity Investment Fund.

The aim of the project is to improve the flow of traffic on one of the town’s busiest commuter routes and support the growth of employment sites at Lingfield Point, Central Park and the new Ingenium Parc.

Since works began at Haughton Road, engineers on site have constructed retaining walls at Haughton Road and around the garage site to create extra space for new lanes to be added to the roundabout.

Underground works to provide new ducting and utility cables are almost finished and the pedestrian crossing on Barton Street is complete.

The next phase of work will involve creating new kerb lines, installing traffic islands and adding new safety barriers. A series of road closures are required to allow these works to take place safely:

Haughton Road closures

Monday, January 20: Haughton Road will be closed to traffic going towards the town centre between Westgarth Terrace and the throughabout

Tuesday, January 21- Thursday, January 23: Haughton Road will be closed to traffic heading away from the town centre, from the throughabout to Westgarth Terrace.

During both closures a diversion will be signed via Tornado Way and McMullen Road. Access will be maintained for local residents where possible. Arriva services 9 and 10 will follow the diversion route.

Tornado Way closures

Monday, January 27 – Tuesday, February 4: Tornado Way will be closed to traffic heading away from the town.

A diversion will be signed via Haughton Road and McMullen Road. Traffic heading towards the town on Tornado Way will be unaffected. Arriva service X67 will follow the diversion route.

Councillor Heather Scott, leader of Darlington Borough Council, said: “Works are progressing well at Haughton Road and motorists are already seeing the benefits of the changes that are being made to the roundabout.

“A lot of the works that have been done so far are the largely unseen but necessary elements that will help the new junction operate smoothly in future.

“We try to avoid road closures where possible and most of the works to date have been carried out without causing delays. However the scheme is at a stage now where some limited works can only be done safely without traffic being present.

“I’d like to say thank you to all the motorists who use the Haughton Road junction, and residents living close to the site, for their ongoing patience as these works progress, it really is appreciated and I know that it will be worth the wait.”

Council Leader marks road opening at Symmetry Park

Council Leader marks road opening at Symmetry Park

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Darlington Borough Council leader Cllr Heather Scott has met with developers tto mark the official opening of a significant new access road at 90-acre logistics site, Symmetry Park Darlington.

Darlington Borough Council leader Cllr Heather Scott has met with developers to mark the official opening of a significant new access road at 90-acre logistics site, Symmetry Park Darlington.

Tritax Symmetry hosted the event for Cllr Scott alongside Cllr Paul Howell, Cabinet member for Leisure and Local Environment after a very successful partnership to bring significant investment and new jobs to the town.

Morton Park Road extends a link from Yarm Road to Tornado Way providing relief to the A66 and additional access points into Symmetry Park Darlington.  It is a major part of new infrastructure in the first phase of the £100 million logistics and distribution park which completes this month.   ISG Construction is building the 1.5 million sq ft unit for a world leading online retailer and the project is being funded by TRITAX Big Box REIT which has an 87% stake in Tritax Symmetry.

Symmetry Park, Darlington is located just seven miles from Junction 57 of the A1 motorway and 20 miles from Tees Port.  Since acquiring the site in November 2017 Tritax Symmetry secured planning consent for over 1.5 million sq ft for which an award winning single pre let was agreed. 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.

Councillor Heather Scott, Leader of Darlington Borough Council, said: “This new road will provide a crucial link for people accessing Symmetry Park once it’s up and running.  It’s a key piece of infrastructure that will help ensure traffic runs smoothly into and out of this flagship development.”

Simon Dixon, Director at Tritax Symmetry said,

“We are delighted to reach completion of this critical part of infrastructure as we reach completion of phase one at Symmetry Park Darlington.  The new road extension provides direct access into the Park from the north and south and will ease traffic flow when the site become operational.  Having already pre-let a significant proportion of the site to a high calibre operator, we are now in a strong position to progress phase two with funding, power and full site infrastructure all in place. 

Tritax Symmetry has submitted a planning application to deliver phase two at its 90-acre logistics site, Symmetry Park Darlington.  The plans include an option for up to 630,000 sq ft of further logistics space or potential for new mixed-use accommodation such as a hotel, petrol filling station, drive thru, restaurants and offices.

Nominate your business for a #LoveDarlo award

Nominate your business for a #LoveDarlo award

Monday, July 8, 2019

Nominations are now open for the first ever #LoveDarlo awards. The event, which will be held on the evening of 17th November at the Hippodrome is aimed at recognising and rewarding businesses in the town.

Nominations are now open for the first ever #LoveDarlo awards.

The event, which will be held on the evening of 17th November at the Hippodrome is aimed at recognising and rewarding businesses in the town.

The ceremony will celebrate those retailers, bars, restaurants, market traders, cafes and leisure venues who play such a vital role in making Darlington a venue of choice for shopping, socialising and having fun.

There are 12 award categories to choose from and businesses in the town centre are encouraged to put themselves forward for as many categories as they can.

Submitted application forms will be assessed by Darlington Business Club who will determine the category shortlist and eventual winner which will be announced on the night.

Tickets for the event will be free of charge for businesses and will give all attending the opportunity to celebrate the very best of what Darlington has to offer.  

The award categories are:

  • Customer service team of the year (Sponsored by Queen Street shopping centre)
  • Independent & specialist retailer of the year (Sponsored by TGI Media)
  • National retailer of the year (Sponsored by the Cornmill shopping centre)
  • Best bar (Sponsored by Barker Proudlove)
  • Hair, beauty and health retailer of the year (Sponsored by Latimer Hinks)
  • Best café (Sponsored by HC One)
  • Best restaurant (Sponsored by Angel HR)
  • Professional / service Industry of the year (Sponsored by Mercure)
  • Market trader of the year (Sponsored by Arriva)
  • Leisure and arts venue of the year (Sponsored by Darlington Markets)
  • Shooting star of the year (Sponsored by DL1)
  • Fashion retailer of the year (Sponsored by Al Fornos)

Other sponsors, include Darlington Borough Council, Darlington Business Club, The Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs, Darlington Cares and the drink reception will be sponsored by Masons Gin.

Cllr Alan Marshall cabinet member for economy and regeneration said “I would encourage as many of our businesses as possible to put themselves forward for one or more of the awards on offer. 

“An event such as this is a great way to celebrate all of the top class businesses we have here in Darlington and I hope as many people as possible get involved in making the first #LoveDarlo awards ceremony a huge success.”

Susan Young, manager of the Cornmill shopping centre said: “We are really excited to be getting behind this event and sponsoring an award and think it’s a fantastic way to celebrate everything our town has to offer as well as helping to put Darlington on the map as a town of choice for shopping and socialising.”

For more information or to nominate your business please visit https://www.enjoydarlington.co.uk/love-darlo-awards/ Nominations close at midnight on 22nd August. 

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 6, 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