PREPARATIONS are under way for the second annual Darlington Arts Festival, which starts later this month and runs throughout May.

The festival is being co-ordinated by Darlington for Culture (DfC), the group which speaks for arts and culture in the borough.

A large number of organisations and individuals are supporting the festival, which is reflected in its packed programme of events.

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Real ale brewer Peter Fenwick has announced plans a limited edition beer, which will be on sale throughout the festival.

Mr Fenwick, whose microbrewery Mithril Ales is based at Aldborough St John, is producing and supplying ten barrels of the beer, called Art Attack.

John Dean, chairman of DfC, said: “The festival is proving an exciting celebration of what this borough has to offer and having a special beer is excellent.

“We are absolutely delighted and very grateful to Peter for his support.”

Art Attack, described as pale and hoppy, is 3.8 per cent strength and will be on sale from April 22.

Mr Fenwick added: “At their first festival last year, I did a beer for them, called Art For Art’s Sake, and it went on sale round seven pubs in Darlington.

“The asked me again and I said I would do them a special beer for the festival.”

With each barrel containing 72 pints, the beer is likely to be in demand among Darlington’s ale drinkers.

Mr Fenwick added: “I will be brewing the beer next week, so it is ready in time for the start of the festival.

“I go to events at the Forum, in Borough Road, quite a lot, so I am happy to be helping to support arts in Darlington.”

The arts festival will launch with the four-day Darlington Jazz Festival, which will feature more than 20 bands playing at the Forum, Head of Steam railway museum and a fringe event at Voodoo Cafe, in Skinnergate.

Pubs wanting to stock Mr Fenwick’s beer can email or call 01325-374817, or 07889-167-128.

Copies of the festival’s events programme are being distributed throughout Darlington and are also available at