A PROGRAMME of events is planned this year for Darlington's newest leisure complex as work gets underway on a revamp.

The Feethams complex in the town centre, which incorporates restaurants, a hotel and Vue Cinema, was sold by original owners Urban and Civic to asset company Columbia Threadneedle – and now it is undergoing a revamp.

The owners hope to make it a more accessible, community space for organised events and are constructing a pergola in the raised central area, to use for events on certain days.

It will also be used for temporary 'pop-up' shops, and as a place for people in nearby offices, including the town hall and a new office block opposite, which is under construction, to sit and enjoy their lunch.

Work to improve the appearance of the buildings is also underway.

The aim is to soften the harsh concrete look.

There will be living walls planted as well as artwork to bring the space to life.

A digital screen will also be installed in the central plaza, giving information about activities and events.

The pergola will have a retractable roof and planters and a pop-up unit will allow different uses including a bar, cafe, entertainment, or community events.

A full annual calendar of activities is planned through 2019, starting at Easter, following on from the ‘Feethams Winter Wonderland’ in December.

There will be activities, events, promotions and competitions to encourage visitors to make the most of the new space and to take the time to explore the different businesses operating from the site.

Feethams opened in 2016 and features a nine-screen cinema as well as an 80-bedroom Premier Inn hotel, Bella Italia, Estabulo, Subway, Mangobean, Nando's, and the Woollen Mill.

A spokesman for the landlord said: "The significant physical developments coupled with an exciting calendar of events and promotions will bring the space to life.

"The park will become a dynamic space for the people of Darlington to enjoy with friends and family."

Feethams opened in 2016 on the former bus station site.