Experience Darlington consultation

When you’re in Darlington, you experience it. This could be a resident or somebody who works here; on a business or leisure trip. The experience is made up of a lot of different things – the places you go, the people you see and interact with, how you get around, how the place looks and how safe you feel. This experience influences people’s views about Darlington.  Perception of a place is a key factor when deciding about visiting or whether to invest in business activity.

Darlington is a special place with a strong industrial and social heritage.  There is a real opportunity for the town to make more of its unique ‘ingenious’ story, from its lead role in the birthplace of the modern railways, Quaker heritage, through to its globally renowned reputation for bridge building and a thriving theatre and arts scene. 

Experience Darlington will ultimately look ahead into the future – thinking how we can develop real attractions that entice people to our town; making local people proud. These things may well take some time, but planning ahead can help make them a reality.

However, Darlington has so many great things going for it now – shops, restaurants, nightlife, leisure activities, ingenious businesses, parks & countryside.  Darlington benefits from fantastic transport connections that place it “perfectly” to enable residents and visitors to enjoy the town and the host of attractions within easy reach, from the Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle to Kynren in Bishop Auckland and the National Railway Museum in York and Shildon.  Experience Darlington is also about doing things to promote these fantastic assets in the short term, so we’ll be inviting views on our plans with this.

Experience Darlington is not itself another initiative but rather the overarching strategy which ties all these existing elements together to recognise the huge potential the visitor economy has for the borough.  The strategy is made up of four themes which all link to existing strategies and action plans.  The themes are; Place making and Regeneration, Arts, Culture & Heritage, Town Centre and Connectivity

Experience Darlington is not just a Council Plan but a wider community plan for businesses, community groups and residents to be part of and take ownership of.  We want everyone to get involved. We want your views in deciding how best to shape Darlington as a visitor destination.

How do you experience Darlington?

And how can you help the experience be better?

Experience Darlington Strategy [pdf document] Experience Darlington Survey [external link]

If you have any additional information you would like to submit please email experiencedarlington@darlington.gov.uk