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Creative Darlington (W09)


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Futures Fund

This cut may not get implemented in full because there are proposals to include the service within the futures fund. Please visit the futures fund proposal to find out more. 


To delete the resources supporting the Council’s cultural vision, and the delivery partnership, Creative Darlington. This is a full time post, the Creative Darlington Manager, and a budget that supports activity directed by the Creative Darlington Partnership. Activity supported includes the Festival of Thrift, match funding for external bids to ACE, Lottery, Charitable Funding, funding to support arts organisations to develop business plans, and support for the DfC Arts Festival.


W09 Creative Darlington

Related FAQs

You blame Govt cuts but other towns/cities still have libraries and arts centres – is this a case of financial mismanagement?

You blame Govt cuts but other towns/cities still have libraries and arts centres – is this a case of financial mismanagement?

Darlington has always been regarded by our external auditors as good at financial management, this is not the reason we are facing such high levels of cuts. Other councils will also be announcing cuts over the coming months and years. The level of cuts required as a result of Government grant cuts vary depending on many factors, but generally deprived areas have been hit worse. Also, other councils have higher Council Taxes than Darlington so have more revenue from that source than us, so their cuts will be less.

Your Say

2 comment(s)

This table lists comments from the public about this proposal


Cut W09 (Creative Darlington)

As an arts professional who has worked in Darlington since 1981. For among others Darlington Media Group and Darlington Borough Council I am greatful for the opportunties Darlington has offered me over the years.

Like others I accepted that the Art Centre would have to close, and was greatful for the opportunties offered to continue working as a self employed tutot/artist at the Bridge.

The Bridge is a a vibrent and by art centre standards cheap to run facility that along with the Crown Street Gallery offers a much needed refuge for what is left of the visual arts facilities in the town.

The visual arts have always been the poor relation of Theatre and the performing arts.

Please leave a small light on in the great empty hall that once was the one of the best culutral programs in the North if not the whole country.

Cut W09 (Creative Darlington)
FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I believe that the main way forward to keep our services (particularly cultural and recreational) open to the public is for the community to have a much greater involvement in running them, for funds to be raised through additional activities on site, together with exploring the possibilities of forming a Trust or something similar. One idea could be as follows: Retain the art gallery, IT suite, Local Studies Centre and Reference library as they now exist and which are based primarily in the original Central Library building. Leave the entire basement archives where they are, which would save a huge cost in sorting out and removal (to where?). Many sections in the archives need to be available for people doing research or wanting out-of-print books, etc., on a regular basis. Therefore it would be useless to move them into a separate building, where they would cease to be of much use. Move only the lending library and the children’s library into the Dolphin Centre. This should mean the full (possibly more) space enjoyed now in the lending section could be retained – maybe even with more books, as funds allow. This would then release a large amount of space in the ex-lending and children’s libraries for other community uses. One suggestion could be accommodation for something like the Bridge Arts Project, which I understand will lose its current home in Neasham Road. The space could be divided into areas, and the gallery and other wall spaces could be used for Arts Projects exhibitions, which are likely to be seen by many more people than at their current premises. I believe that a town centre venue would be a much better location for the Bridge, and that more funding could be raised towards the running costs. Funding could be raised by other groups using that part of the library; it could remain open for evening classes, which I believe isn’t the case at present. A small cafe for library and course users run by volunteers could raise more funds. An annual subscription of £5 per head for library users could raise almost the full amount of the running costs involved, especially if the town’s population increases. This is based on a prospective 50% of the population using this facility. I understand that the latest estimated cost for moving the Central Library into the DC now stands at over £1m. This amount would be better spent in continuing to fund the £300,000 p.a. (the current figure given for running the library) for three years whilst the new services became up, running and, hopefully, viable. Lewisham has published a short document about Community Library Services, which ‘are an exciting development that sees council library by community organisations, providing a mix of activities for local people’. This ‘saves money by the Council transferring library buildings to the community and to reorganise the remaining service’. This is a document worth reading. I understand that the DBC has to be willing to consider alternative proposals to cutting services, in order for them to happen. I cannot believe that it would be in the Council’s best interests to allow Darlington to die and become a depressing wasteland of litter, vandalism, crime and no greenery (thinking of the proposed cuts to horticulture). Please don’t allow this to happen to our town. A town which encourages people to want to move into will, surely, generate more council tax, which it seems that the Council badly needs!