New offices could be built on the site of a demolished warehouse in a prominent town centre location.

The former Sports Direct site on East Street, Darlington was bought by the council for £625,000 in 2021 and later flattened for future development.

Demolition work on the building, which was once a bowling alley and nightclub, is now complete and Darlington Borough Council has now announced initial plans to build new office space.

There has been an increase in demand for available space in the town centre since the Treasury announced its new Darlington Economic Campus and current office space is “extremely limited”, councillors have been told. 

The Government signed a five-year lease with the council to occupy Feethams House in 2020 until permanent offices on Brunswick Street are built but it is thought the building will continue under Treasury control beyond that period.

A feasibility and business case for a new office building on the former Sports Direct site, costing £150,000, will now be drawn up by council officials. Around £4m of Tees Valley Combined Authority funding will be used but a further £6m will be required from other funding sources that will include council borrowing.

The Northern Echo: The site is adjacent to the Crown Street libraryThe site is adjacent to the Crown Street library (Image: SARAH CALDECOTT)

Councillor Jamie Bartch, the council’s economy lead, said the development is part of the authority’s ambitious plans to attract investment throughout the town.

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Council leader Jonathan Dulston added: “We’re already seeing an appetite of people wanting to come to Darlington, wanting to further invest, so I’m really pleased that this site is in a prime location that will complement all of the fantastic work we’re doing in the town centre.

“It will increase footfall into the businesses but also it’s in a  really good position to oversee the Darlington Economic Campus which we know is the centre of the North East moving forward.”