AN ambitious plan to bring a disused arts centre back to life has missed out on £2m of start-up funding.

The Arts Council announced today (Tuesday, January 22) that Project Vane - a proposal to transform Darlington Arts Centre into a hotel, restaurant, business units and gallery space – has not been allocated any Government money to get the scheme off the ground.

Council cuts forced the closure of the arts centre last July, but the proposal, put forward by businessmen Graham Thrower and Andy Bottomley, intended to turn it into a more commercially sustainable venue while restoring its previous function as a community cultural hub.