BLUEPRINTS of plans to illuminate one of the North-East’s most recognisable buildings have been revealed as part of a scheme to encourage more people to visit a town centre after dark.

Darlington Borough Council has lodged planning applications with its planning department for a major lighting overhaul on key features in the High Row and West Row areas.

The Northern Echo:

The initiative includes installing low energy LED lighting on the grade II listed Clock Tower, a gift to the town in 1863 from Victorian railway pioneer Joseph Pease.

Work would see the existing external cascade lights removed and lighting installed to the arched windows, internal clock tower face, high-level paired windows, and balconies.

Other illuminated features would include The Joseph Pease Statue, as well as benches and planters on High Row.

The proposed scheme is part of a wide-ranging £22m Government-funded project which will also see investment in Skinnergate and The Yards, including shop front enhancements, residential development in Skinnergate and mixed-use facilities.

In planning documents a council spokesman said enhanced lighting within the town centre was “seen as a key driver for improving the look and feel of the area for the night-time economy”.

He said: “The scheme intends to provide enhanced lighting from night fall, but the light fittings are designed in such a way a to have minimum visual impact during the daytime.

“The fixing positions on the Clock Tower in particular are designed to have as little impact as possible on the listed structure.

“The character and appearance of the Town Centre Conservation Area will be preserved and potentially enhanced through the removal of previous lighting to the tower and in promoting the architectural interest of the building in the night-time townscape.”