BUSINESSES in Darlington have been urged to sign up for a conference to discuss the future of the town centre.

The Town Centre Conference is a chance for small and independent retailers and restaurants to have their say on investment and regeneration in the coming years.

The event will take place on Thursday, March 27, between 5pm and 8pm, in the Dolphin Centre and must be booked in advance by businesses wishing to take part.

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The conference has been organised by Darlington Borough Council and Distinct Darlington, the business improvement district company for the town, and will feature a number of workshops on key issues.

Topics for discussion will include planning and residential issues, particularly for empty units; the indoor and outdoor markets; entertainment, leisure and the night time economy and the digital economy.

John Anderson, assistant director for regeneration, transport and planning at the council, said: “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 eighteen 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.”

To sign up for the conference visit