Conference organised to help Darlington businesses take advantage of town centre investment

The Northern Echo: The cinema and leisure development is one of several projects planned to boost visitors to Darlington town centre The cinema and leisure development is one of several projects planned to boost visitors to Darlington town centre

RETAILERS are being invited to a special conference to help them benefit from major projects planned for their town centre.

Darlington Borough Council and Distinct Darlington – the company behind the Business Improvement District (BID) – have organised the event to help businesses capitalise on the future investment planned for Darlington.

This includes a cinema and leisure development, a multi-storey car park and the new Department for Education offices which are already under construction behind the town hall.

John Anderson, the council’s assistant director for regeneration, said the developments will bring an extra 1,000 people into Darlington daily and existing businesses need to be ready to seize the opportunities this will present.

He added: “Town centres up and down the country are adapting to fit in with people’s changing lifestyles.

“We want Darlington to keep ahead and to do this local businesses need to be ready to make the most of the changes that are coming up.

“Over the last 18 months we have worked with businesses and residents to develop a vision; this is a chance for everyone to see what has come out of that and how they can help the town thrive.”

Alex Hirst, BID manager for Distinct Darlington, said the conference will give local businesses and residents the chance to have their say about the town centre going forward.

She added: “We’ve made a real impact in recent times with innovative events and promotions such as Darlington by the Sea, the ice rink, the Valentine’s Day ice heart give away and a whole host of other events.

“We know these have increased footfall, evident by the growth in the number of tickets sold for the ice rink this year, which was an increase of 21 per cent on the previous year.

“And now we want to build on the positive response we’ve had to date to ensure that Darlington town centre is somewhere that’s a great place to visit, shop and run a business.”

The conference will be held at the Dolphin Centre on March 27 from 5pm and will cover four main areas; the markets, planning, the digital economy and the night-time economy including entertainment and leisure.

All Darlington retailers and residents are welcome to attend and can register at tcconference.eventbrite.co.uk

Comments (7)

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3:24pm Mon 3 Mar 14

BMD says...

Alex Hirst, BID manager for Distinct Darlington said: “We’ve made a real impact in recent times with innovative events and promotions such as Darlington by the Sea, the ice rink, the Valentine’s Day ice heart give away and a whole host of other events.

Mickey Mouse events like the above mentioned won’t bring people into town on a wet Wednesday morning, please wake-up!

John Anderson, the council’s assistant director for regeneration, said the developments will bring an extra 1,000 people into Darlington daily.

More "Bull" from an overpaid assistant director, whom is trying to justify his position - the only people wandering around the town during the week is people signing on benefits, unemployable migrants or shop-lifters.
Alex Hirst, BID manager for Distinct Darlington said: “We’ve made a real impact in recent times with innovative events and promotions such as Darlington by the Sea, the ice rink, the Valentine’s Day ice heart give away and a whole host of other events. Mickey Mouse events like the above mentioned won’t bring people into town on a wet Wednesday morning, please wake-up! John Anderson, the council’s assistant director for regeneration, said the developments will bring an extra 1,000 people into Darlington daily. More "Bull" from an overpaid assistant director, whom is trying to justify his position - the only people wandering around the town during the week is people signing on benefits, unemployable migrants or shop-lifters. BMD
  • Score: 1

3:37pm Mon 3 Mar 14

andygib263 says...

BMD wrote:
Alex Hirst, BID manager for Distinct Darlington said: “We’ve made a real impact in recent times with innovative events and promotions such as Darlington by the Sea, the ice rink, the Valentine’s Day ice heart give away and a whole host of other events.

Mickey Mouse events like the above mentioned won’t bring people into town on a wet Wednesday morning, please wake-up!

John Anderson, the council’s assistant director for regeneration, said the developments will bring an extra 1,000 people into Darlington daily.

More "Bull" from an overpaid assistant director, whom is trying to justify his position - the only people wandering around the town during the week is people signing on benefits, unemployable migrants or shop-lifters.
Get a grip of yourself would you. Clearly the footfall in the town centre is going to greatly increase. The events are great in the town centre and has proven more people are in the town centre when such events are on.

This is a proactive approach by a poor council. Give them credit when they deserve it and stop being so blinkered with your hatred of everything the BID and council do
[quote][p][bold]BMD[/bold] wrote: Alex Hirst, BID manager for Distinct Darlington said: “We’ve made a real impact in recent times with innovative events and promotions such as Darlington by the Sea, the ice rink, the Valentine’s Day ice heart give away and a whole host of other events. Mickey Mouse events like the above mentioned won’t bring people into town on a wet Wednesday morning, please wake-up! John Anderson, the council’s assistant director for regeneration, said the developments will bring an extra 1,000 people into Darlington daily. More "Bull" from an overpaid assistant director, whom is trying to justify his position - the only people wandering around the town during the week is people signing on benefits, unemployable migrants or shop-lifters.[/p][/quote]Get a grip of yourself would you. Clearly the footfall in the town centre is going to greatly increase. The events are great in the town centre and has proven more people are in the town centre when such events are on. This is a proactive approach by a poor council. Give them credit when they deserve it and stop being so blinkered with your hatred of everything the BID and council do andygib263
  • Score: 3

3:46pm Mon 3 Mar 14

Homshaw1 says...

There were events similar to these paid for by the council long before BID was dreamed up. BID is simply a tax on hard pressed businesses. I think it is wrong to claim credit for some of these events.

There are large numbers of empty shops so I don't know where the extra people are spending their money. Even new businesses don't seem to last very long.

Scrap BID, reduce parking and make Darlington Town centre an attractive option for customers and less onerous for small unique businesses
There were events similar to these paid for by the council long before BID was dreamed up. BID is simply a tax on hard pressed businesses. I think it is wrong to claim credit for some of these events. There are large numbers of empty shops so I don't know where the extra people are spending their money. Even new businesses don't seem to last very long. Scrap BID, reduce parking and make Darlington Town centre an attractive option for customers and less onerous for small unique businesses Homshaw1
  • Score: 2

3:47pm Mon 3 Mar 14

BMD says...

andygib263, I can only suggest you walk around the town between 10:00am and 16:00pm during the week.

Only the Pound shops have customers.
andygib263, I can only suggest you walk around the town between 10:00am and 16:00pm during the week. Only the Pound shops have customers. BMD
  • Score: 2

4:48pm Mon 3 Mar 14

thetruthyoucanthandlethetruth says...

BID and Distinct Darlington are the problems here - NOT the solution. Extorting money from already hard pressed businesses is not the way forward. But you try telling the Nazis down the town hall that.
BID and Distinct Darlington are the problems here - NOT the solution. Extorting money from already hard pressed businesses is not the way forward. But you try telling the Nazis down the town hall that. thetruthyoucanthandlethetruth
  • Score: 0

7:17pm Mon 3 Mar 14

Spy Boy says...

1000 people per day. Another, 'off the top of your head' figure from one of our overpaid pocket bureaucrats. If we actually get this many people in, where do they park ? The proposed new car park won't handle that many and the other parks are being built on.

The new development looks very good, but that's about the only thing that does. BID is simply another way of scamming money from local business and putting it into the pocket of certain local council officials. Who was heading that up, again. The name escapes me. As people above have said : Scrap BID and try to help our businesses. Cutting parking fees will help.

The whole of the town centre is going to be a No Go area soon. Even non rush hour traffic is blocking the centre already. Not a sign of one person controlling traffic. Our town centre shops are in for another two years of struggle as the council chase the shoppers away. I know they share departments with Stockton, but are they trying to send our shoppers over there ?
1000 people per day. Another, 'off the top of your head' figure from one of our overpaid pocket bureaucrats. If we actually get this many people in, where do they park ? The proposed new car park won't handle that many and the other parks are being built on. The new development looks very good, but that's about the only thing that does. BID is simply another way of scamming money from local business and putting it into the pocket of certain local council officials. Who was heading that up, again. The name escapes me. As people above have said : Scrap BID and try to help our businesses. Cutting parking fees will help. The whole of the town centre is going to be a No Go area soon. Even non rush hour traffic is blocking the centre already. Not a sign of one person controlling traffic. Our town centre shops are in for another two years of struggle as the council chase the shoppers away. I know they share departments with Stockton, but are they trying to send our shoppers over there ? Spy Boy
  • Score: 1

8:18pm Mon 3 Mar 14

Border Terrier says...

BMD wrote:
Alex Hirst, BID manager for Distinct Darlington said: “We’ve made a real impact in recent times with innovative events and promotions such as Darlington by the Sea, the ice rink, the Valentine’s Day ice heart give away and a whole host of other events.

Mickey Mouse events like the above mentioned won’t bring people into town on a wet Wednesday morning, please wake-up!

John Anderson, the council’s assistant director for regeneration, said the developments will bring an extra 1,000 people into Darlington daily.

More "Bull" from an overpaid assistant director, whom is trying to justify his position - the only people wandering around the town during the week is people signing on benefits, unemployable migrants or shop-lifters.
I think Darlington is now on par with shopping in Bishop Auckland?
[quote][p][bold]BMD[/bold] wrote: Alex Hirst, BID manager for Distinct Darlington said: “We’ve made a real impact in recent times with innovative events and promotions such as Darlington by the Sea, the ice rink, the Valentine’s Day ice heart give away and a whole host of other events. Mickey Mouse events like the above mentioned won’t bring people into town on a wet Wednesday morning, please wake-up! John Anderson, the council’s assistant director for regeneration, said the developments will bring an extra 1,000 people into Darlington daily. More "Bull" from an overpaid assistant director, whom is trying to justify his position - the only people wandering around the town during the week is people signing on benefits, unemployable migrants or shop-lifters.[/p][/quote]I think Darlington is now on par with shopping in Bishop Auckland? Border Terrier
  • Score: 1

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