MonGay is officially returning to Darlington next month - and the opening hours of Number Forty will be specially extended.

The council, police and crime commissioner have been working with the LGBTQIA+ community to get the event running again at certain bars on the second Monday of every month.

MonGay will return on December 11 and ensure that everyone has a fun night out.

A range of town centre venues have been invited to take part and those that are joining in will have prominent posters ahead of the event.

Councillor James Coe, the council’s LGBTQIA+ ambassador, said: "I am delighted that MonGay is returning to Darlington town centre and Number Forty will be open at the same time.

"It will ensure everyone who is out enjoying themselves can feel safe and know there is a wide range of support and help at hand if they need it.

"I would like to thank the volunteers and all those involved at Number Forty for helping to make this happen and to help promote that Darlington is a safe place for everyone."

Inspector Matt Plumb, a member of the Darlington neighbourhood police team, praised Number Forty for how quickly it has become a key part of the town centre.

He said: "In the relatively short time it has been open, Number Forty has become an integral part of the night time economy in Darlington.

"It has not only proven itself to be invaluable in keeping people safe but has saved the emergency services precious time and money.

"I’d like to say a big thank you to the volunteers and those involved in the running of Number Forty for their dedication to keeping Darlington safe for all."

Joy Allen, Durham's Police and Crime Commissioner, said: "I am delighted that Number Forty has extended its hours of opening in line with the return of MonGay.

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"The feedback we’ve had from people who have utilised the Number Forty hub has been extremely positive.

"The fact we have been able to help over 400 people since its opening a year ago is a huge achievement in the success of the project and proves that with the correct tools and relationships, we can create something that really works.

"I am sure that Number Forty will continue to keep people safe while they enjoy Darlington’s night time economy and hope that this can continue long into the future."