A TOWN centre has been filled with the sounds of Christmas carols with the launch of Imperial Quarter.

A festive event marked the rebranding of the area around Grange Road in Darlington, where a host of independent traders have banded together.

The Imperial Quarter will incorporate a number of shops and businesses on Grange Road as well as some around Northumberland Street, Coniscliffe Road, Blackwellgate and the vicinity.

Jasmin Robson, the manager of the Hash Bar and Kitchen and the Hatch Luncheonette, is one of the business owners involved.

She said: “It’s all about bringing local businesses together and we’ve been meeting to try and figure out a good way to promote the area and increase footfall for the town as a whole.

“We have a strong network of independent shops around here and sometimes people forget about that, especially when there’s a big focus on the shops that are closing.

“We want to work together to let everyone know we are here and draw people from outside the area in.

“It’s nice to support independent businesses because you know that the money is going back into the town and to employ workers from the town.”

For more information, search for The Imperial Quarter on Facebook.