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Wind Direction: West North Westerly
Darlington town centre is a sub-regional shopping centre with a catchment area population of around 500,000 people and over 600 shops and businesses set in a pleasant shopping environment. You’ll find lots of the High Street names you might expect; two excellent indoor shopping centres and an enviable number of unique independent shops, which offer quality, choice and personal service.
It isn’t just the shops that make Darlington unique; the public art and the spacious pedestrianised shopping environment make us stand out from the crowd too.
Remember to take a look at the public art – get to grips with ‘Life Pulse’ on Blackwellgate, where the light columns Illuminate to your heart beat and the distinctive Market Cascade on High Row, which provides a relaxing waterfall backdrop to your shopping or simply sit at a pavement café and watch the world go by.
Student art in Clark’s, Mechanics' and Buckton’s Yards creates an open-air gallery, which is well worth a visit too. The fabulous work, provided by students from Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College has turned the quaint and historic Yards into an outdoor gallery and provides a showcase for their talents too, whilst introducing you to a number of small, independent businesses located in the Yards.
The recent changes to the town centre have not only provided a fresh appearance but have also created other benefits and opportunities:
Due to the new look of the town centre, the general outdoor market and the monthly Farmers and Craft Markets are now located in the heart of the town centre; and events such as the award winning ‘Summer Spectacular’ are now able to be spread right throughout the streets.
Events & Street Entertainment
The town centre hosts a wide variety of street entertainment and larger events. The circular performance space ‘Joseph Pease Place’ in particular, is the ideal central venue for a programme of street theatre, entertainment and activities.
The spacious Market Square accomodates the larger events such as the ever popular Christmas Lights Switch On.
The town centre’s open spaces have enabled more food and drink businesses to add to the pavement café culture. This adds to a more relaxed feel and allows shoppers and visitors the chance to sit and watch the world go by.
Opening Up the Town Centre
The pedestrian friendly streets and open spaces make getting around the town centre easier and as a result more opened up, making for better access to areas with quality independent businesses such as Grange Road, Skinnergate and Duke Street.