Skinnergate and The Yards
Darlington is taking forward a holistic development of this area, driven by a desire to improve and encourage economic growth.
Two key documents were initially developed which help to provide a creative direction for the area as a whole, whilst retaining a unique feel for each Yard and Skinnergate itself.
The development of Project Darling [pdf document] in 2019/20 provides concept ideas to help vision the development in the Yards,
The Skinnergate Creative Strategy [pdf document], developed in 2021, assists in providing an overall vision for properties along Skinnergate.
The Towns Fund Forward Funding provided by government in 20/21 has enabled Darlington, working alongside the communities in the Yards, to undertake early improvements which has already had a significant impact on transforming the yards, creating green space and breathing life into this historic area of the town centre
This wider Towns Fund Skinnergate and the Yards project now progressing has three clear, but very dependent element:
- Improvement of the public realm space – aesthetically and in function. Engagement undertaken in 2021/22
- Enhancement and improvement of the properties and shopfronts, which is ongoing.
- A defined residential proposal off Skinnergate.
The project provides the opportunity to work together with the local communities to improve the public realm areas, shop front/properties and new residential/commercial space to deliver the strategy which looks to create a vibrant social space, which encourages and retains footfall.
Skinnergate and Coniscliffe Road
Working with Groundworks, a number of proposals for the redevelopment of Skinnergate and Coniscliffe Road have been put forward for public engagement. These include:
Street trees and planters along the length of Skinnergate create a green ribbon that is both attractive and helps to make the town centre more environmentally friendly.
Healthy and Safe Streets
Pedestrian and cycle-friendly with restricted traffic access and a permitted cycle contraflow connecting to the wider cycle network.
Quality surfacing on a single level with tactile and contrasting road edging allowing safe access for all.
Loading space where required with time allocated for deliveries to local businesses.
These spaces could be used for outdoor seating in times traffic is restricted from the area.
Vibrant street culture
Junction with Duke Street to have an informal performance area to be used when vehicles are restricted.
Benches and street trees will create an attractive place to meet and spend some time
Highlighting the Yards
Striking artistic installations to highlight the entrances to the yards.
Each one to have a distinct character to encourage people to explore.
Small squares to highlight prominent buildings like Quaker House and the Mechanics Institute.
Paving on one level with a tonal change from the road either side.
Street trees and large benches will complete the picture and, with restricted traffic access at all times, create a 'plaza' type feel to these spaces.
Introducing pocket parks, planters, and street trees to create greener streets, allowing us to connect with nature and nature to help us.
A pedestrian and cycle zone with connectivity to the wider cycle network.
Accommodating the developing pavement café culture within an attractive and safe environment.
Reinforcing the area as a destination will lead to increased footfall and people staying for longer, helping to support local businesses.
Provision of loading space outside the pedestrian areas.
Plans progressing for redevelopment of fire damaged shop
Plans for the fire damaged shop on Skinnergate, incorporating the former Argos store, have been passed by planning committee.
The site will be demolished and redeveloped as a mix of town centre housing, including six 3-bed houses and six 2-bed flats over three storeys and three shop units with flats above.
The full planning application, including more images, designs and the full committee decision report, can be found on our planning portal.