A FESTIVAL celebrating inclusivity through the arts is coming to Darlington this summer.

Includfest started life in Durham city in 2012 and on July 18 it will visit Darlington’s South Park for the first time.

The festival’s core theme is to ensure that disabled people are included and able to enjoy all the activities on offer but the attractions are open to everybody.

These will include live music, outdoor street theatre, participatory 'have-a-go' workshops as well as arts and crafts sessions.

Organiser Martin Wilson of TIN Arts, a Durham-based inclusive dance and arts organisation, said Darlington’s South Park was the “perfect location” to hold the festival outside of its traditional Durham base for the first time.

He said: “So far the programme we are developing is really varied and vibrant; I think we are going to bring something really fresh and new to Darlington that can then be taken on and owned by the community.

“We have been overwhelmed by the partnership response from people like Darlington for Culture and Creative Darlington and we are recruiting local volunteers and guest artists to take part in the day.

“I think we are going to exceed our expectations and deliver a really good festival that will hopefully last into the future.”

The free event will take place in the park's upper grounds around the Clock Tower, with a stage set up for life performances and a variety of arts and crafts workshops on offer.

Youngsters from Beaumont Hill Academy have been working with Darlington artist Yvonne Preston in the run-up to the event and assistant headteacher Jo Johnson said they have benefitted from the work.

She said: “It is a chance to showcase their skills and show the outside world that despite any disabilities, they can participate fully in the world.

“It is also giving them the chance to explore their creative side.”

Stephen Wiper, manager of Creative Darlington, which is supporting the event, said: “The vision for arts in Darlington is that it should be inclusive and when projects like this come along, with the expertise of the people at TIN Arts behind it, it is important to take the offer and support it.”

The festival will run from 11am to 3.30pm and further details will be posted on the Includfest facebook page and on Twitter in the coming weeks.