A COUNCIL has been given funding for its project to create a major visitor destination celebrating the region’s railway.

Darlington Borough Council wants to create a new “Disneyland” style attraction at the Head of Steam museum as part of the celebrations of the Bicentennial Anniversary of the Stockton & Darlington Railways in 2025.

Opening in 2024, the £35m attraction will feature a café and shop, show field, a new live engineering building alongside temporary exhibition space, archive, and extended car parking.

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The authority has been awarded £300,000 from Arts Council England, which will help fund virtual reality experiences, an immersive ride and railway-themed play areas. 

The Northern Echo:

Darren Henley, chief executive of Arts Council England, said: “World class creativity and culture needs a resilient and sustainable infrastructure to allow it to flourish.

"With these investments in the buildings, equipment, and digital systems of cultural organisations across England, we are helping to secure the future of that infrastructure, and making sure that people from every part of the country can continue enjoying all the benefits it delivers for years to come.”

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Councillor Andy Keir, the council’s cabinet member for local services, said: “I’m delighted that Darlington Council has been awarded £300,000 from Arts Council England; this money will go far in helping to provide the amazing facilities and improvements we have envisioned for Head of Steam.

“Once reopened, the museum will offer an incredible experience for visitors and will breathe new life into an area that was once at the forefront of world rail engineering.”

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