The Forum, in Darlington, reveals plans for expansion

Darlington and Stockton Times: Allison McKay, manager of The Forum Allison McKay, manager of The Forum

A MUSIC centre in Darlington has put forward ambitious plans for expansion which would see it become a social and cultural hub for the community.

The Forum, in Borough Road, Darlington, is a live music venue with recording studios and rooms for teaching a music-based education programme.

The proposals, drafted by an architect, include plans to increase its main hall capacity and build a new floor dedicated to teaching, as well as a brand new entrance area and reception.

Allison McKay, manager at The Forum said: “It’s about upgrading the building, moving the space around and creating a better environment to learn, perform, relax and socialise in.

“It’s also about increasing our services for the town. We'll be putting in decent kitchen facilities, creating an environment where even if you're not involved in music, can feel like you can come in and sit and have a coffee, or grab a bite to eat and feel you are in a cultural welcoming environment.”

Managers at the venue believe the current capacity of 170 people is not enough, and say that if they want bigger bands to play at the venue then they need to increase the capacity.

More rooms are also needed to meet the demand for the popular Access to Music course ran at The Forum.

Ms McKay added: “The plans going forward are really quite exciting. The building is a problem, it is an old Victorian school which has been here since 1879, it's been changed and modified but the bricks and mortar are old.”

Managers are looking for investors to help fund the expansion.

For more information visit theforumonline.co.uk

Comments (5)

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9:55pm Wed 29 Jan 14

D. Hop says...

Don't suppose the Arts Centre is a viable move???
Don't suppose the Arts Centre is a viable move??? D. Hop

1:26pm Thu 30 Jan 14

youcantdenythetruth says...

Fingers crossed this happens. The Forum is a fantastic venue and we're very lucky to have it.
Fingers crossed this happens. The Forum is a fantastic venue and we're very lucky to have it. youcantdenythetruth

4:16pm Thu 30 Jan 14

darlingtondavee says...

Access To Music is such a good idea! Hope this comes off!
Access To Music is such a good idea! Hope this comes off! darlingtondavee

10:39pm Thu 30 Jan 14

chansm79 says...

D. Hop wrote:
Don't suppose the Arts Centre is a viable move???
doubtful - if anything, its a lil' further from the town centre, and as the Forum isn't a council project any more, I doubt they would have funding to buy the Arts Centre - especially as they are looking for help to fund the expansion within their current location. However, I think they have a good idea.... you never know, the council may sell them the nursery and they can then knock the two into one! :-)
[quote][p][bold]D. Hop[/bold] wrote: Don't suppose the Arts Centre is a viable move???[/p][/quote]doubtful - if anything, its a lil' further from the town centre, and as the Forum isn't a council project any more, I doubt they would have funding to buy the Arts Centre - especially as they are looking for help to fund the expansion within their current location. However, I think they have a good idea.... you never know, the council may sell them the nursery and they can then knock the two into one! :-) chansm79

1:35pm Fri 31 Jan 14

D. Hop says...

I did make the comment tongue in cheek. I realise its highly unlikely, but it could be a nice use of the building. I personally think it would be a better location and better suited as a cultural hub.
I did make the comment tongue in cheek. I realise its highly unlikely, but it could be a nice use of the building. I personally think it would be a better location and better suited as a cultural hub. D. Hop

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