SHOPPERS, residents and business owners are being urged to give their views on plans to reinvigorate Darlington town centre.

A consultation period has opened for Darlington Borough Council's new town centre strategy, and the authority is urging people to let them know what they think about the vision.

The Northern Echo:

The town centre strategy, which was agreed at Cabinet earlier this month, sets out the intended development plans for the town centre over the next ten years.

The strategy will focus on improving the attractiveness of the town centre, celebrating Darlington’s heritage, supporting economic growth, improving health and wellbeing and making Darlington a great place to live, work and visit.

Four key areas of the town have been identified for the majority of the development work; the Victorian indoor market, Skinnergate and the Yards, Northgate and Crown Street.

Cllr Alan Marshall, cabinet member for economy and regeneration said: “This document lays out exactly how we intend to develop our town centre over the next decade, with a focus on four key areas of the town.

“I would urge people to get involved in shaping the future of our town by feeding in their views. This is undoubtedly an exciting time for Darlington as we work towards tackling those areas of the town centre we know could be improved meaning a better town centre experience for everyone.”

Earlier this week, there was more uncertainty surrounding the future of Darlington's House of Fraser store after the owners put the building up for sale.

The Northern Echo understands House of Fraser has no immediate intention to close their Darlington store, but the building's owners have decided to put it on the market as a "safety net" in case a new agreement can't be reached, and in case bosses at the department store, which is now owned by Mike Ashley's Sports Direct, have a change of plan.

The strategy along with a survey to feed in your views can be found at and is open until September 30.

  • See next week's Northern Echo for an in depth look into Darlington Borough Council's town centre strategy