£30m cinema and hotel development to transform Darlington town centre

The Northern Echo: Artist impression of how the leisure development will look Artist impression of how the leisure development will look

A MULTI-million pound leisure development that could transform Darlington town centre has been unveiled publicly for the first time this morning.

The £30m complex, with a nine screen multiplex cinema, an 80-bedroom hotel and a family pub, has been hailed as an exciting investment in the town that could create hundreds of jobs for local people.

Developers hope the site will become a hub for leisure activities for people across the Tees Valley and provide a huge economic boost to the region.

Up to 500 permanent jobs could be created in the complex, which will also include a number of bars and restaurants and a riverside relaxation area.

Darlington Borough Council signed a deal with property development group Terrace Hill last week that will seem them redevelop the 0.75 hectare former bus depot site in Feethams, next to the town hall.

Planning applications for the site, designed by local architects Niven, will be submitted to the council in the New Year, with work expected to be completed by December 2014 if they are approved.

Council leader Bill Dixon said the development deal was a ‘stunning result’ and an exciting step forward for Darlington.

The site will include a multiplex cinema operated by VUE Entertainment and an 80-bedroom Premier Inn hotel, arranged around a large open-air plaza that would lead to a Brewer’s Fayre family pub and other leisure outlets.

A spokesman for Terrace Hill said the group had already received strong interest from a number of national restaurant and leisure chains about the facility, as well as proposals from independent businesses.

There will also be 70 parking spaces on the site, initially allocated to the hotel, with cinema and leisure customers expected to use existing pay and display car parks in the town centre, where parking is free after 6pm.

A council spokeswoman said a long term review of parking provision in the town would take the proposals into account and could lead to the creation of new parking spaces.

The regeneration of Darlington town centre has been the subject of a long-running public consultation, with residents asked to submit their ideas for development they would like to see.

The Northern Echo:

Councillor Dixon said: “I’m very excited by this. It’s an absolutely stunning result for the town, a great day.

“It shows that outside of Darlington people have faith in the town and its future and that we can go from strength to strength with developments like this and others that are in the pipeline.

“This really sets the scene for further consultation with people in the town about the town centre and shows that if we want something enough then we can recognise it and attract developers.

“It makes me really positive about the future of the town. There are opportunities out there, we just have to go out and grab them.”

Coun Dixon added that he expected the process to go smoothly, without major disruption to the rest of the town during development works The developers behind the plans, Terrace Hill, have also spoken of their delight at being chosen by the council and their hopes for the complex.

Duncan McEwan, head of retail and leisure development at Terrace Hill, said: “The demand from leisure operators for Darlington is very strong. In addition to financial investment in the borough, the completed project will create between 450 and 500 permanent jobs, in addition to construction jobs during that phase.

“With this in mind, we very much look forward to working with Darlington Borough Council in delivering what we hope will be a hugely exciting and popular scheme for the area.”

News of the facility has also been welcomed by Stephen Catchpole, managing director of Tees Valley Unlimited, the Local Enterprise Partnership for Tees Valley, who said: “Attracting such a large scale, high calibre leisure development to Darlington is testament to the growing reputation that Tees Valley is gaining with leading developers as a place to do business.

“This £30m investment will be beneficial to the area on several levels – it will be a major boost to Tees Valley’s economic wellbeing, generate hundreds of jobs and will greatly enhance Darlington’s leisure and hospitality offering. “ Terrace Hill will now consult on its development proposals over the coming weeks, before submitting its plans to Darlington Borough Council in the New Year.

For further information and to view plans for the leisure complex, visit feethamsleisure.co.uk. The site will go live on Friday, November 16.

Comments (55)

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10:01am Wed 14 Nov 12

jewitt says...

Yet at the same time we shut Mowden Hall. Must be galling for the staff up there.
Yet at the same time we shut Mowden Hall. Must be galling for the staff up there. jewitt
  • Score: -19

10:10am Wed 14 Nov 12

miketually says...

"We" aren't shutting Mowden Hall.

A central government department is shutting Mowden Hall. A private company is building this.

Completely unrelated.
"We" aren't shutting Mowden Hall. A central government department is shutting Mowden Hall. A private company is building this. Completely unrelated. miketually
  • Score: 24

10:35am Wed 14 Nov 12

jewitt says...

miketually wrote:
"We" aren't shutting Mowden Hall. A central government department is shutting Mowden Hall. A private company is building this. Completely unrelated.
Not unrelated at all. That was the roposed site for the Government Building so good to see leisure taking higher priority than kid's education. What a wonderful society we live.
[quote][p][bold]miketually[/bold] wrote: "We" aren't shutting Mowden Hall. A central government department is shutting Mowden Hall. A private company is building this. Completely unrelated.[/p][/quote]Not unrelated at all. That was the roposed site for the Government Building so good to see leisure taking higher priority than kid's education. What a wonderful society we live. jewitt
  • Score: -15

10:37am Wed 14 Nov 12

jewitt says...

Not a criticism of the council by the way Mike, more central government who couldn't stump the funds up for the civil service building
Not a criticism of the council by the way Mike, more central government who couldn't stump the funds up for the civil service building jewitt
  • Score: -9

12:16pm Wed 14 Nov 12

miketually says...

Ah, see what you mean.
Ah, see what you mean. miketually
  • Score: -1

12:25pm Wed 14 Nov 12

Pierremontquaker03 says...

Looks very similar to complex's virtually every major town has these days, as a town centre we are way behind the times, now Bill Dixon, with the Arena issued sorted out and this major investment now you need to sort out getting Darlo FC back into the town, seen as our council will be pocketing plenty of money for this deal!
Looks very similar to complex's virtually every major town has these days, as a town centre we are way behind the times, now Bill Dixon, with the Arena issued sorted out and this major investment now you need to sort out getting Darlo FC back into the town, seen as our council will be pocketing plenty of money for this deal! Pierremontquaker03
  • Score: 3

12:27pm Wed 14 Nov 12

bones26 says...

ile believe it when i see it along with the shopping centre and car park at queen street and the debenhams store itll never happen .
ile believe it when i see it along with the shopping centre and car park at queen street and the debenhams store itll never happen . bones26
  • Score: 20

12:29pm Wed 14 Nov 12

CJGrey says...

Can it include an Arts Centre type facitility?
Just a thought.
Can it include an Arts Centre type facitility? Just a thought. CJGrey
  • Score: 8

12:39pm Wed 14 Nov 12

vayro7 says...

this should be scrapped and the arts centre kept.
this should be scrapped and the arts centre kept. vayro7
  • Score: 4

12:42pm Wed 14 Nov 12

dave3mrr says...

Any room for a football ground? :-))
Any room for a football ground? :-)) dave3mrr
  • Score: -9

1:14pm Wed 14 Nov 12

holmesc1 says...

Should have happened years ago. Darlington must be one of the biggest towns without a multiplex cinema and chain restraunts like nandos, toby carvery etc
Should have happened years ago. Darlington must be one of the biggest towns without a multiplex cinema and chain restraunts like nandos, toby carvery etc holmesc1
  • Score: 7

1:23pm Wed 14 Nov 12

olliegregg says...

IT WONT HAPPEN !!!!!!

DEBENHAMS COMPLTE BY 2014 ?????? NOT A THING STARTED YET !
REDEVELOPMENT OF QUEEN STREET , MORE VACANT UNITS THAN EVER!
I WILL BELEIVE IT WHEN I SEE IT , BUT IF WE ALL MOVED AWAY AND CAME BACK IN 2015 WE WOULD STILL SEE JUST A CAR PARK JUST WITH A HIGHER CHARGE!
IT WONT HAPPEN !!!!!! DEBENHAMS COMPLTE BY 2014 ?????? NOT A THING STARTED YET ! REDEVELOPMENT OF QUEEN STREET , MORE VACANT UNITS THAN EVER! I WILL BELEIVE IT WHEN I SEE IT , BUT IF WE ALL MOVED AWAY AND CAME BACK IN 2015 WE WOULD STILL SEE JUST A CAR PARK JUST WITH A HIGHER CHARGE! olliegregg
  • Score: 6

1:31pm Wed 14 Nov 12

No06 says...

It looks grotesque. Here’s an idea, why not build something that’s in keeping with the history of the town? Is anyone else sick of crap modern architecture that will look as bad as the town hall given 50 years. Thicko jobsworths regulate virtually everything in this country until it suffocates, apart from simple things like the architectural style of our towns –Utterly depressing.
p.s Can’t believe someone actually wants a Toby Carvery in the town! Will go nicely with Poundland and Greggs, I guess.
It looks grotesque. Here’s an idea, why not build something that’s in keeping with the history of the town? Is anyone else sick of crap modern architecture that will look as bad as the town hall given 50 years. Thicko jobsworths regulate virtually everything in this country until it suffocates, apart from simple things like the architectural style of our towns –Utterly depressing. p.s Can’t believe someone actually wants a Toby Carvery in the town! Will go nicely with Poundland and Greggs, I guess. No06
  • Score: -8

1:50pm Wed 14 Nov 12

CJGrey says...

olliegregg wrote:
IT WONT HAPPEN !!!!!! DEBENHAMS COMPLTE BY 2014 ?????? NOT A THING STARTED YET ! REDEVELOPMENT OF QUEEN STREET , MORE VACANT UNITS THAN EVER! I WILL BELEIVE IT WHEN I SEE IT , BUT IF WE ALL MOVED AWAY AND CAME BACK IN 2015 WE WOULD STILL SEE JUST A CAR PARK JUST WITH A HIGHER CHARGE!
I tend to agree. Hopefully it wont happen and the council will maybe learn the error of their ways (maybe??? but I doubt it). Closing down the Arts Centre, the Civics future at risk, charging ridiculous parking fees, the threat of a Tescos. Not exactly doing the town centre footfall any favours are they? Another white elephant.
As for a Toby Carvery (and the like), more chains serving substandard food. Just what we want!!!
[quote][p][bold]olliegregg[/bold] wrote: IT WONT HAPPEN !!!!!! DEBENHAMS COMPLTE BY 2014 ?????? NOT A THING STARTED YET ! REDEVELOPMENT OF QUEEN STREET , MORE VACANT UNITS THAN EVER! I WILL BELEIVE IT WHEN I SEE IT , BUT IF WE ALL MOVED AWAY AND CAME BACK IN 2015 WE WOULD STILL SEE JUST A CAR PARK JUST WITH A HIGHER CHARGE![/p][/quote]I tend to agree. Hopefully it wont happen and the council will maybe learn the error of their ways (maybe??? but I doubt it). Closing down the Arts Centre, the Civics future at risk, charging ridiculous parking fees, the threat of a Tescos. Not exactly doing the town centre footfall any favours are they? Another white elephant. As for a Toby Carvery (and the like), more chains serving substandard food. Just what we want!!! CJGrey
  • Score: 9

2:00pm Wed 14 Nov 12

Littlebelle1994 says...

Finally! Something for young people in Darlington to do!
Finally! Something for young people in Darlington to do! Littlebelle1994
  • Score: 7

2:01pm Wed 14 Nov 12

MST1975 says...

Why does the council have to build a ground for Darlington fc1836 or whatever they are called. Like others say can't see it ever happening. Will be interesting to see what they do about car parking though.
Why does the council have to build a ground for Darlington fc1836 or whatever they are called. Like others say can't see it ever happening. Will be interesting to see what they do about car parking though. MST1975
  • Score: 4

2:17pm Wed 14 Nov 12

No06 says...

Littlebelle-- why? can't young people play sport? We already have a cinema! Mowden RFC are moving to a 20 acre plus site because they have so many mini and junior teams!
Littlebelle-- why? can't young people play sport? We already have a cinema! Mowden RFC are moving to a 20 acre plus site because they have so many mini and junior teams! No06
  • Score: -2

2:18pm Wed 14 Nov 12

No06 says...

either way-- make sure the building is inkeeping with the town's (virtually lost) heritage
either way-- make sure the building is inkeeping with the town's (virtually lost) heritage No06
  • Score: -1

2:19pm Wed 14 Nov 12

Mac001 says...

No06 wrote:
It looks grotesque. Here’s an idea, why not build something that’s in keeping with the history of the town? Is anyone else sick of crap modern architecture that will look as bad as the town hall given 50 years. Thicko jobsworths regulate virtually everything in this country until it suffocates, apart from simple things like the architectural style of our towns –Utterly depressing. p.s Can’t believe someone actually wants a Toby Carvery in the town! Will go nicely with Poundland and Greggs, I guess.
Here's a better idea No06...
Leave it as a concrete mass which creates no income/jobs/rejuvina
tion and basque in the glory that Darlington is being left in the dark ages!
There is nothing wrong with the proposal visually or in concept. The old Railway style Arches are fully inkeeping with the towns history.
This project will go ahead. The council cannot let this development of what is essentially 'town centre redevelopment' not go ahead.
On another note: Why would there be a Toby Carvery in this development when there is one near Morton Park? Probably because you have been asleep....I guess

Well said Littlebelle1994.
[quote][p][bold]No06[/bold] wrote: It looks grotesque. Here’s an idea, why not build something that’s in keeping with the history of the town? Is anyone else sick of crap modern architecture that will look as bad as the town hall given 50 years. Thicko jobsworths regulate virtually everything in this country until it suffocates, apart from simple things like the architectural style of our towns –Utterly depressing. p.s Can’t believe someone actually wants a Toby Carvery in the town! Will go nicely with Poundland and Greggs, I guess.[/p][/quote]Here's a better idea No06... Leave it as a concrete mass which creates no income/jobs/rejuvina tion and basque in the glory that Darlington is being left in the dark ages! There is nothing wrong with the proposal visually or in concept. The old Railway style Arches are fully inkeeping with the towns history. This project will go ahead. The council cannot let this development of what is essentially 'town centre redevelopment' not go ahead. On another note: Why would there be a Toby Carvery in this development when there is one near Morton Park? Probably because you have been asleep....I guess Well said Littlebelle1994. Mac001
  • Score: 7

2:47pm Wed 14 Nov 12

No06 says...

Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for development by the private sector (not by the state—misallocatio
n of capital etc etc). The idea of this development is great. I wouldn’t care which shops move in- supply and demand and all that (although I, personally, couldn’t think of anything worse than a Toby Carvery – stay classy darlo). All I’m saying is that we have so many job and wealth destroying regulations on building yet we still manage to miss the one that actually has some benefit – what the building actually looks like. I’m not saying the council should design it (heaven forbid) but what am I saying is that architects should work with the remit of the town’s original built history (why were all the nice houses and buildings built before the state started overly regulating?!). The arches look great, but the rest will be another monster given 30 years- most of this is just the current architectural fad within some architects office. Re. young people in the town, they have plenty to do, just many choose not to do anything.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for development by the private sector (not by the state—misallocatio n of capital etc etc). The idea of this development is great. I wouldn’t care which shops move in- supply and demand and all that (although I, personally, couldn’t think of anything worse than a Toby Carvery – stay classy darlo). All I’m saying is that we have so many job and wealth destroying regulations on building yet we still manage to miss the one that actually has some benefit – what the building actually looks like. I’m not saying the council should design it (heaven forbid) but what am I saying is that architects should work with the remit of the town’s original built history (why were all the nice houses and buildings built before the state started overly regulating?!). The arches look great, but the rest will be another monster given 30 years- most of this is just the current architectural fad within some architects office. Re. young people in the town, they have plenty to do, just many choose not to do anything. No06
  • Score: 0

3:08pm Wed 14 Nov 12

Pierremontquaker03 says...

Everyone....we can sleep at night, Darlington does now have Toby Carvery over at Morton Park :)
Everyone....we can sleep at night, Darlington does now have Toby Carvery over at Morton Park :) Pierremontquaker03
  • Score: 8

3:22pm Wed 14 Nov 12

Spy Boy says...

CJGrey wrote:
Can it include an Arts Centre type facitility?
Just a thought.
I was just thinking this very thought. Actually, I think the new Arts Centre was supposed to be on the bit of car park on the opposite side of Feethams. Where all the little CGI trees are on the map. Bill Dixon's crew mentioned a footprint of 40x40 m. This would give a footprint area of 1600 sq m. Considerably smaller than the old one, but with a bit of thought and imagination, it could be quite an addition to the town. Thought and imagination not being strong points for the council group, maybe someone else could design one. I did actually see some plans floating around that Darlington for Culture had done. Looked quite nice. Seeing as they were drawn rather than CGI'd I guess it was a designer of the old school.

The new buildings look quite nice, but I'm not sure who accidentally scanned the green sarnie box when they were draughting it up. I suppose that it can be airbrushed out.
[quote][p][bold]CJGrey[/bold] wrote: Can it include an Arts Centre type facitility? Just a thought.[/p][/quote]I was just thinking this very thought. Actually, I think the new Arts Centre was supposed to be on the bit of car park on the opposite side of Feethams. Where all the little CGI trees are on the map. Bill Dixon's crew mentioned a footprint of 40x40 m. This would give a footprint area of 1600 sq m. Considerably smaller than the old one, but with a bit of thought and imagination, it could be quite an addition to the town. Thought and imagination not being strong points for the council group, maybe someone else could design one. I did actually see some plans floating around that Darlington for Culture had done. Looked quite nice. Seeing as they were drawn rather than CGI'd I guess it was a designer of the old school. The new buildings look quite nice, but I'm not sure who accidentally scanned the green sarnie box when they were draughting it up. I suppose that it can be airbrushed out. Spy Boy
  • Score: 2

3:33pm Wed 14 Nov 12

Spy Boy says...

No06 wrote:
It looks grotesque. Here’s an idea, why not build something that’s in keeping with the history of the town? Is anyone else sick of crap modern architecture that will look as bad as the town hall given 50 years. Thicko jobsworths regulate virtually everything in this country until it suffocates, apart from simple things like the architectural style of our towns –Utterly depressing.
p.s Can’t believe someone actually wants a Toby Carvery in the town! Will go nicely with Poundland and Greggs, I guess.
Actually, it looks very good compared to some of the new buildings in Middlebrough. That town is starting to look like a set for Spongebob Squarepants. Just look at the new University building near Darlington College. Ugly built in. The green box stuck on the end needs to go, but the rest looks OK. What is the green box BTW ? Any ideas ?
[quote][p][bold]No06[/bold] wrote: It looks grotesque. Here’s an idea, why not build something that’s in keeping with the history of the town? Is anyone else sick of crap modern architecture that will look as bad as the town hall given 50 years. Thicko jobsworths regulate virtually everything in this country until it suffocates, apart from simple things like the architectural style of our towns –Utterly depressing. p.s Can’t believe someone actually wants a Toby Carvery in the town! Will go nicely with Poundland and Greggs, I guess.[/p][/quote]Actually, it looks very good compared to some of the new buildings in Middlebrough. That town is starting to look like a set for Spongebob Squarepants. Just look at the new University building near Darlington College. Ugly built in. The green box stuck on the end needs to go, but the rest looks OK. What is the green box BTW ? Any ideas ? Spy Boy
  • Score: 0

3:43pm Wed 14 Nov 12

No06 says...

it shouldn't be good in comparison to crap buildings elsewhere, it should, instead, be good in it's own right! Apart from the arches it's a mess.
it shouldn't be good in comparison to crap buildings elsewhere, it should, instead, be good in it's own right! Apart from the arches it's a mess. No06
  • Score: -1

3:49pm Wed 14 Nov 12

Lifetime Townie says...

A bit of a weird plan of the buildings layout but good luck I hope that the economic situation changes so that people will have the money to visit the bars and restaurants and afford to park their cars nearby. We were expecting an Arts venue somewhere in this area but it doesn't yet appear. The Commercial Street development seems to have died and the Debenhams appearance at N Echo building has gone quiet so this one must be a "goer" OR??? A bus station at Commercial Street would be a good idea
A bit of a weird plan of the buildings layout but good luck I hope that the economic situation changes so that people will have the money to visit the bars and restaurants and afford to park their cars nearby. We were expecting an Arts venue somewhere in this area but it doesn't yet appear. The Commercial Street development seems to have died and the Debenhams appearance at N Echo building has gone quiet so this one must be a "goer" OR??? A bus station at Commercial Street would be a good idea Lifetime Townie
  • Score: 0

4:06pm Wed 14 Nov 12

Spy Boy says...

No06 wrote:
it shouldn't be good in comparison to crap buildings elsewhere, it should, instead, be good in it's own right! Apart from the arches it's a mess.
Quite right, but I still think it looks OK, bar the sarnie box on the end. I think the tea boy at the architects stuck it on as a joke and it was overlooked. It's an improvement on the Dolphin Centre and the Town Hall, that's a fact. ( Even the green bit on the end.)

Maybe we can have a new Arts Centre opposite, to add the look of the area. In the same style maybe.
[quote][p][bold]No06[/bold] wrote: it shouldn't be good in comparison to crap buildings elsewhere, it should, instead, be good in it's own right! Apart from the arches it's a mess.[/p][/quote]Quite right, but I still think it looks OK, bar the sarnie box on the end. I think the tea boy at the architects stuck it on as a joke and it was overlooked. It's an improvement on the Dolphin Centre and the Town Hall, that's a fact. ( Even the green bit on the end.) Maybe we can have a new Arts Centre opposite, to add the look of the area. In the same style maybe. Spy Boy
  • Score: -1

4:06pm Wed 14 Nov 12

Spy Boy says...

No06 wrote:
it shouldn't be good in comparison to crap buildings elsewhere, it should, instead, be good in it's own right! Apart from the arches it's a mess.
Quite right, but I still think it looks OK, bar the sarnie box on the end. I think the tea boy at the architects stuck it on as a joke and it was overlooked. It's an improvement on the Dolphin Centre and the Town Hall, that's a fact. ( Even the green bit on the end.)

Maybe we can have a new Arts Centre opposite, to add the look of the area. In the same style maybe.
[quote][p][bold]No06[/bold] wrote: it shouldn't be good in comparison to crap buildings elsewhere, it should, instead, be good in it's own right! Apart from the arches it's a mess.[/p][/quote]Quite right, but I still think it looks OK, bar the sarnie box on the end. I think the tea boy at the architects stuck it on as a joke and it was overlooked. It's an improvement on the Dolphin Centre and the Town Hall, that's a fact. ( Even the green bit on the end.) Maybe we can have a new Arts Centre opposite, to add the look of the area. In the same style maybe. Spy Boy
  • Score: -1

4:39pm Wed 14 Nov 12

Lnorthcoop says...

No06 says...
1:31pm Wed 14 Nov 12

It looks grotesque. Here’s an idea, why not build something that’s in keeping with the history of the town? Is anyone else sick of crap modern architecture that will look as bad as the town hall given 50 years. Thicko jobsworths regulate virtually everything in this country until it suffocates, apart from simple things like the architectural style of our towns –Utterly depressing.

Get with the times, what do you actually expect the design to be? Should be happy that someone is willing to invest in Darlington.
No06 says... 1:31pm Wed 14 Nov 12 It looks grotesque. Here’s an idea, why not build something that’s in keeping with the history of the town? Is anyone else sick of crap modern architecture that will look as bad as the town hall given 50 years. Thicko jobsworths regulate virtually everything in this country until it suffocates, apart from simple things like the architectural style of our towns –Utterly depressing. Get with the times, what do you actually expect the design to be? Should be happy that someone is willing to invest in Darlington. Lnorthcoop
  • Score: 4

4:39pm Wed 14 Nov 12

Lnorthcoop says...

No06 says...
1:31pm Wed 14 Nov 12

It looks grotesque. Here’s an idea, why not build something that’s in keeping with the history of the town? Is anyone else sick of crap modern architecture that will look as bad as the town hall given 50 years. Thicko jobsworths regulate virtually everything in this country until it suffocates, apart from simple things like the architectural style of our towns –Utterly depressing.

Get with the times, what do you actually expect the design to be? Should be happy that someone is willing to invest in Darlington.
No06 says... 1:31pm Wed 14 Nov 12 It looks grotesque. Here’s an idea, why not build something that’s in keeping with the history of the town? Is anyone else sick of crap modern architecture that will look as bad as the town hall given 50 years. Thicko jobsworths regulate virtually everything in this country until it suffocates, apart from simple things like the architectural style of our towns –Utterly depressing. Get with the times, what do you actually expect the design to be? Should be happy that someone is willing to invest in Darlington. Lnorthcoop
  • Score: 2

4:57pm Wed 14 Nov 12

Homshaw1 says...

The extra hotel beds must hit existing businesses in Darlington.

Where is the extra demand coming from at a time of economic downturn?

Multiplex cinema - Yes I can see that working. The one up North Road will take a hit

Family restaurant - Jury is out on that one. Depends on the offering
The extra hotel beds must hit existing businesses in Darlington. Where is the extra demand coming from at a time of economic downturn? Multiplex cinema - Yes I can see that working. The one up North Road will take a hit Family restaurant - Jury is out on that one. Depends on the offering Homshaw1
  • Score: 0

8:42pm Wed 14 Nov 12

GP2 says...

Someone is prepared to invest a great deal of money in Darlington. Given the level of negativity I read here I struggle to understand why they should think it's a town worth investing in?

Be happy, in fact in these times, be bloody ecstatic
Someone is prepared to invest a great deal of money in Darlington. Given the level of negativity I read here I struggle to understand why they should think it's a town worth investing in? Be happy, in fact in these times, be bloody ecstatic GP2
  • Score: 10

9:01pm Wed 14 Nov 12

HSC says...

Looks Great - Great investment in Darlington!

Fantastic News
Looks Great - Great investment in Darlington! Fantastic News HSC
  • Score: 11

9:13pm Wed 14 Nov 12

100%Darlington says...

Congratulations to all concerned in securing this exciting development, long over due but that is not the Council's fault, I believe they have done everything in their power to attract this sort of development to the town over the years only for the developers to get cold feet! TGI's and F&B's would be very welcomed!
Congratulations to all concerned in securing this exciting development, long over due but that is not the Council's fault, I believe they have done everything in their power to attract this sort of development to the town over the years only for the developers to get cold feet! TGI's and F&B's would be very welcomed! 100%Darlington
  • Score: 6

9:40pm Wed 14 Nov 12

Peg Powler says...

So, this is the first impression of the town centre that will greet visitors walking down from the railway station or coming in off the inner ring road? It's great that Darlington is getting this sort of investment, and the facilities and jobs proposed sound really good, but the design of the buildings looks dated and very, very bland. It's pure 1990s office block, apart from the stupid 1960s-style green box. And that's the best design they came up with for 30 million quid? Unfortunately, to say it looks better than the stuff going up in Middlesbrough is not much comfort! At least it makes the Town Hall look interesting...
So, this is the first impression of the town centre that will greet visitors walking down from the railway station or coming in off the inner ring road? It's great that Darlington is getting this sort of investment, and the facilities and jobs proposed sound really good, but the design of the buildings looks dated and very, very bland. It's pure 1990s office block, apart from the stupid 1960s-style green box. And that's the best design they came up with for 30 million quid? Unfortunately, to say it looks better than the stuff going up in Middlesbrough is not much comfort! At least it makes the Town Hall look interesting... Peg Powler
  • Score: -4

9:47pm Wed 14 Nov 12

John Justice says...

I would have been more excited if the news had been reporting the development of a new industry that created jobs, stability and exports. Creating long lasting skilled employment that enables the local community to earn the money to spend in this new development would have been far better news. However this is still good news in the development of jobs in the leisure industry and for Darlo. I look forward to visiting Darlo and enjoying the new facilities.
I would have been more excited if the news had been reporting the development of a new industry that created jobs, stability and exports. Creating long lasting skilled employment that enables the local community to earn the money to spend in this new development would have been far better news. However this is still good news in the development of jobs in the leisure industry and for Darlo. I look forward to visiting Darlo and enjoying the new facilities. John Justice
  • Score: 2

10:23pm Wed 14 Nov 12

Jolly Roger says...

So where is the BUS station going to go to get extra people for the out of town villages to come and use these facilities as they have every right to do so - as they pay Darlington Council Taxes.

But I forgot they will be no suitable place left in the Town Centre for a VUS station will they.
So where is the BUS station going to go to get extra people for the out of town villages to come and use these facilities as they have every right to do so - as they pay Darlington Council Taxes. But I forgot they will be no suitable place left in the Town Centre for a VUS station will they. Jolly Roger
  • Score: 1

12:41am Thu 15 Nov 12

Catherine Gilsenan says...

What I want to know is, when are they going to knock down the other side of the Town Hall - the bit that's obscuring St Cuthbert's Church?
Also - where is our bus station?
Also - what you tend to get with these developments is "dumming down entertainment" just like in every other town, rather than proper culture led by the people of the town.
NO to Toby Carvery.
What I want to know is, when are they going to knock down the other side of the Town Hall - the bit that's obscuring St Cuthbert's Church? Also - where is our bus station? Also - what you tend to get with these developments is "dumming down entertainment" just like in every other town, rather than proper culture led by the people of the town. NO to Toby Carvery. Catherine Gilsenan
  • Score: 0

12:44am Thu 15 Nov 12

Catherine Gilsenan says...

By the way - regarding looking after our culture. I was coming back from Newcastle on the train today, and noticed a sign by the railway line "Route of 1825 Darlington to Stockton Railway". It was surrounded by shrubbery and you could hardly notice it. How about we do something about that?
By the way - regarding looking after our culture. I was coming back from Newcastle on the train today, and noticed a sign by the railway line "Route of 1825 Darlington to Stockton Railway". It was surrounded by shrubbery and you could hardly notice it. How about we do something about that? Catherine Gilsenan
  • Score: 3

2:45am Thu 15 Nov 12

Porca miseria says...

A travel tavern and toby carvery very chic, reasonable temporary wages on the construction, then after that minimum wage for all other jobs created.
A travel tavern and toby carvery very chic, reasonable temporary wages on the construction, then after that minimum wage for all other jobs created. Porca miseria
  • Score: 0

7:56am Thu 15 Nov 12

Homshaw1 says...

GP2 wrote:
Someone is prepared to invest a great deal of money in Darlington. Given the level of negativity I read here I struggle to understand why they should think it's a town worth investing in?

Be happy, in fact in these times, be bloody ecstatic
I have no problem with people having a different opinion to my own.

However what you seem to be suggesting is that people should not express an opinion be it positive or negative.

The idea that people with large amounts of cash should be allowed to do as they wish without question isn't one I can agree with.
[quote][p][bold]GP2[/bold] wrote: Someone is prepared to invest a great deal of money in Darlington. Given the level of negativity I read here I struggle to understand why they should think it's a town worth investing in? Be happy, in fact in these times, be bloody ecstatic[/p][/quote]I have no problem with people having a different opinion to my own. However what you seem to be suggesting is that people should not express an opinion be it positive or negative. The idea that people with large amounts of cash should be allowed to do as they wish without question isn't one I can agree with. Homshaw1
  • Score: 0

8:26am Thu 15 Nov 12

A.Smith 71 says...

This is the same people that built the complex in Bishop Auckland and they only just managed to deliver half of the proposed plan so bother holding your breath.
If they thought a pitch for 1883 was going to win backers it would of been submitted but DBC don't want a club in Darlo as I keep telling you people so stop with the pipe dreams of returning to the Feethams area.
This is the same people that built the complex in Bishop Auckland and they only just managed to deliver half of the proposed plan so bother holding your breath. If they thought a pitch for 1883 was going to win backers it would of been submitted but DBC don't want a club in Darlo as I keep telling you people so stop with the pipe dreams of returning to the Feethams area. A.Smith 71
  • Score: 0

9:29am Thu 15 Nov 12

D. Hop says...

I think a development like this is all very well, but a town cannot survive on this alone. We also need a cultural hub like the Arts Centre and the Civic. We need a decent bus service. Reasonable parking fees that don’t put people off. I think thats a lot of people gripe here.
A development like this will only leave a bigger void in the existing town centre. The town would suffer further, which would now extend to an empty cinema down Northgate.
By all means develope the town further, but keeps its current heritage.
I think a development like this is all very well, but a town cannot survive on this alone. We also need a cultural hub like the Arts Centre and the Civic. We need a decent bus service. Reasonable parking fees that don’t put people off. I think thats a lot of people gripe here. A development like this will only leave a bigger void in the existing town centre. The town would suffer further, which would now extend to an empty cinema down Northgate. By all means develope the town further, but keeps its current heritage. D. Hop
  • Score: 1

11:27am Thu 15 Nov 12

Spy Boy says...

We certainly need a cultural hub D.Hop. Maybe this will lever it a bit. All the plans for using the old Arts Centre seem to have bogged down and it's currently being used to house homeless people. All good points there. Maybe the folks that operate the cinema on Northgate will get the chance to run this one. Not sure what we can use the old building for, once it closes.

Basically, this is very good news. We need a new cinema and a hotel is a good idea. Think on the wider implications of extra beds and expansion elsewhere in town and the area. That's 2 new hotels for us.

Let's just get that Arts Hub up and running.
We certainly need a cultural hub D.Hop. Maybe this will lever it a bit. All the plans for using the old Arts Centre seem to have bogged down and it's currently being used to house homeless people. All good points there. Maybe the folks that operate the cinema on Northgate will get the chance to run this one. Not sure what we can use the old building for, once it closes. Basically, this is very good news. We need a new cinema and a hotel is a good idea. Think on the wider implications of extra beds and expansion elsewhere in town and the area. That's 2 new hotels for us. Let's just get that Arts Hub up and running. Spy Boy
  • Score: 0

11:29am Thu 15 Nov 12

Spy Boy says...

I think that a stage area should be built at the bottom of thse steps. What a great place for open air concerts. Bring your own cushion.
I think that a stage area should be built at the bottom of thse steps. What a great place for open air concerts. Bring your own cushion. Spy Boy
  • Score: -1

11:47am Thu 15 Nov 12

freelance says...

Amazingly BBC local news this am showed the development to be going on the wilderness site that was once Feethams Football Ground.
Amazingly BBC local news this am showed the development to be going on the wilderness site that was once Feethams Football Ground. freelance
  • Score: 1

11:56am Thu 15 Nov 12

Lifetime Townie says...

Whatever the Green building is, it doesn't seem to fit in with anything else on the site. If it was the same finish as everything else it would be OK.
Whatever the Green building is, it doesn't seem to fit in with anything else on the site. If it was the same finish as everything else it would be OK. Lifetime Townie
  • Score: 0

3:18pm Thu 15 Nov 12

heartbeatfan says...

Certainly don't think this will ever happen. Its in the wrong part of the town. The proposed/planned redevelopment of Queen Street/Commercial Street has never happened. Half of Queen Street is empty and along with the Cornmill. Bringing another Cinema into town will only cause more problems of parking.
Certainly don't think this will ever happen. Its in the wrong part of the town. The proposed/planned redevelopment of Queen Street/Commercial Street has never happened. Half of Queen Street is empty and along with the Cornmill. Bringing another Cinema into town will only cause more problems of parking. heartbeatfan
  • Score: -2

3:31pm Thu 15 Nov 12

mark.wilkinson says...

I always travel to Mboro to go to the cinema simply because it's far better than that piece of c**p up north road, and there's never any trouble from ferrell youth. So I personally would welcome a nice new modern multiplex cinema in the town. About time too!

Once It's built, the biggest problem will be keeping all the trouble-causing kids out - the same tribe that constantly cause trouble in the north road cinema.
I always travel to Mboro to go to the cinema simply because it's far better than that piece of c**p up north road, and there's never any trouble from ferrell youth. So I personally would welcome a nice new modern multiplex cinema in the town. About time too! Once It's built, the biggest problem will be keeping all the trouble-causing kids out - the same tribe that constantly cause trouble in the north road cinema. mark.wilkinson
  • Score: 5

6:55pm Thu 15 Nov 12

Spy Boy says...

Lifetime Townie wrote:
Whatever the Green building is, it doesn't seem to fit in with anything else on the site. If it was the same finish as everything else it would be OK.
It really does look shi . . . er . . out of place somehow. As for the 'tribe' surely the security people will keep them out of the new building.
[quote][p][bold]Lifetime Townie[/bold] wrote: Whatever the Green building is, it doesn't seem to fit in with anything else on the site. If it was the same finish as everything else it would be OK.[/p][/quote]It really does look shi . . . er . . out of place somehow. As for the 'tribe' surely the security people will keep them out of the new building. Spy Boy
  • Score: -2

1:52am Fri 16 Nov 12

boy1da says...

Its about time Darlington had some decent leisure facilities. The majority of people currently travel out of town to middlesborough or teeside park to visit the cinema, and i personally think this development will encourage people to stay in town and spend money here. Darlington has been flagging for years. Many towns complain that business is being drawn from town centres by 'out of town' developments....(bis
hop auckland?) so the fact that this is slap bang in the centre of town is a positive. Im pretty sure given time, the increased footfall in the town will lead to a new bus station development....well lets hope!
Its about time Darlington had some decent leisure facilities. The majority of people currently travel out of town to middlesborough or teeside park to visit the cinema, and i personally think this development will encourage people to stay in town and spend money here. Darlington has been flagging for years. Many towns complain that business is being drawn from town centres by 'out of town' developments....(bis hop auckland?) so the fact that this is slap bang in the centre of town is a positive. Im pretty sure given time, the increased footfall in the town will lead to a new bus station development....well lets hope! boy1da
  • Score: 1

11:30am Fri 16 Nov 12

Darlogirl1 says...

Why don't we just put money into the cinema that we have got already? that would make better sense and build a bowling alley instead of another cinema?What will happen to the people who work their wont they be out of jobs?. Darlington is in desperate need of updating the town.When my lads were small there was no were to take them! Not even a good park...South park is a joke all that land and one tiny area....lets see when this gets done and for how long you can go to it without it being overun with half the towns low life...yes negative but that's what Darlington mostly breeds!
Why don't we just put money into the cinema that we have got already? that would make better sense and build a bowling alley instead of another cinema?What will happen to the people who work their wont they be out of jobs?. Darlington is in desperate need of updating the town.When my lads were small there was no were to take them! Not even a good park...South park is a joke all that land and one tiny area....lets see when this gets done and for how long you can go to it without it being overun with half the towns low life...yes negative but that's what Darlington mostly breeds! Darlogirl1
  • Score: -3

2:43pm Fri 16 Nov 12

tonyducks says...

Glad for this, More jobs, and facilities will definately get used due to their location. And it looks OK too. Lets hope it doesn't fall by the wayside or get sidelined due to misplaced resident apathy.
Glad for this, More jobs, and facilities will definately get used due to their location. And it looks OK too. Lets hope it doesn't fall by the wayside or get sidelined due to misplaced resident apathy. tonyducks
  • Score: 2

2:53pm Fri 16 Nov 12

tonyducks says...

Note to Northern Echo. Whilst reading this article I was accosted by the horrendous sound of two American women talking about their obscene incomes and after finding the source of the bleed on my ears found I could not pause, close or mute the window and had to frantically dash to my stereo volume to turn the volume off. Don't do this to us!
Note to Northern Echo. Whilst reading this article I was accosted by the horrendous sound of two American women talking about their obscene incomes and after finding the source of the bleed on my ears found I could not pause, close or mute the window and had to frantically dash to my stereo volume to turn the volume off. Don't do this to us! tonyducks
  • Score: 2

1:19pm Sun 18 Nov 12

darlo66 says...

Iam sick to death of hearing negative idiots in this town, this will be amazing for the town I personaly don't know 1 person who has been to that mostrosaty of a cinema for the last 15 years as we all would prefer to watch a film in a modern comfortable venue surrounded by some nice places to eat. the new cinema will make it easy to walk into town go to the cinema n maybe spend some money in my own town center. parking wont be an issue, we don't need a bowling alley there is 1 in newton aycliffe also a ice rink too, and lets hope we use the 1 were getting in the town center over Xmas (that enough )if i not mistaken didn't debenhams pull out of that new shopping center due to the recession , (there choice )

as a town lets get behind this and support this bring people into the town center hopefully extra trade and these empty shops people may get filled as we don't see the need to go out of town for everything , if we have a busy town centre other retailers/food chains will want to come to the town ,
Iam sick to death of hearing negative idiots in this town, this will be amazing for the town I personaly don't know 1 person who has been to that mostrosaty of a cinema for the last 15 years as we all would prefer to watch a film in a modern comfortable venue surrounded by some nice places to eat. the new cinema will make it easy to walk into town go to the cinema n maybe spend some money in my own town center. parking wont be an issue, we don't need a bowling alley there is 1 in newton aycliffe also a ice rink too, and lets hope we use the 1 were getting in the town center over Xmas (that enough )if i not mistaken didn't debenhams pull out of that new shopping center due to the recession , (there choice ) as a town lets get behind this and support this bring people into the town center hopefully extra trade and these empty shops people may get filled as we don't see the need to go out of town for everything , if we have a busy town centre other retailers/food chains will want to come to the town , darlo66
  • Score: -2

10:13am Tue 20 Nov 12

Grange91a says...

I came to Darlo in 1977 from N.Ireland and since then I have seen so many positive changes and upgrades during similar periods doom and gloom like the Dolphin Centre built in the early eighties. 500 potential jobs in these tough times is a major plus point. I lived in Asia for 20 yrs where money is truly squandered on corrupt prestige projects, Come on ye Quakers lets be proud, I know I am. Defo sad about the Art Centre, even if this doesn't happen at least the intention is positive, we can never truly anticipate the future but nothing ventured nothing gained, carpe diem! A grateful immigrant.
I came to Darlo in 1977 from N.Ireland and since then I have seen so many positive changes and upgrades during similar periods doom and gloom like the Dolphin Centre built in the early eighties. 500 potential jobs in these tough times is a major plus point. I lived in Asia for 20 yrs where money is truly squandered on corrupt prestige projects, Come on ye Quakers lets be proud, I know I am. Defo sad about the Art Centre, even if this doesn't happen at least the intention is positive, we can never truly anticipate the future but nothing ventured nothing gained, carpe diem! A grateful immigrant. Grange91a
  • Score: 0

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