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  • "At last, some reasoned debate on the future of our Town without the usual Council bashers. Some excellent points very well made.

    Whilst I agree that improvements could be made to shops fronts etc. it has to be remembered that these are privately owned and the Council can do very little about it unless in extreme circumstances such as public safety. It is the private landlords who should be made to clean up their act.

    With regard to the Mowden/Northgate House argument , again, privately owned. Also, if you were to utilise the building as is suggested for Mowden staff. as I understand it, there are 400 jobs involved here. Where on earth are all the cars going to go in the Gladstone Street area even if only 50% used their own vehicles.

    Parking will always be a contentious issue and lessons should be learnt from the experiences of other towns and acted upon. I do appreciate that to keep chopping and changing parking regulations can be very confusing and expensive in terms of signage etc but a bit of loosening up from the powers that be should be exercised. Be brave, not reckless. Be leaders and not followers.

    Whilst not perfect, Darlington is still streets in front of other towns in many ways. It is a compliment to the Town and its inhabitants that those outside are wanting to invest money in us."
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Your say on the future of Darlington Town Centre

Your say on the future of Darlington Town Centre

The Darlington Debate: Have your say on the future of Darlington Town Centre

The Darlington Debate: Have your say on the future of Darlington Town Centre

First published in News
Last updated
Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by , Darlington reporter

ON Thursday evening representatives of more than 60 businesses and retail outlets based in the centre of Darlington will gather to discuss the future of the town and what it offers to the public.

The Darlington town centre conference, organised by Darlington Borough Council and Distinct Darlington, will focus on a regeneration strategy for the town and what can be done to help the centre thrive.

Business owners will be asked for their views on a number of topics –planning policy, specifically around empty units; how retailers can use the internet to their benefit; the potential impact of major developments planned for Darlington and the future of the indoor and outdoor markets.

Ahead of the conference The Northern Echo wants to hear from our readers what they think about the future of Darlington and how it can grow and develop in the next 20 years.

Give your thoughts on any of the following issues by adding your comments to this article:

• What would you like to see happen to the empty units in Darlington town centre? Would you welcome residential units in place of empty shops and office blocks? What leisure, retail or business opportunities do you think are missing in Darlington?

• Do you use Darlington’s markets – indoor and outdoor? Are the markets held in the right place in the town centre and do they offer the right mix of goods and services? How could the indoor market building be developed for the modern shopper?

• How often do you visit Darlington town centre on an evening? What brings you to the town centre or keeps you away at night? Do you think the new cinema and leisure development planned for the Feethams car park will make you more likely to visit? What is a priority for you – cafes and restaurants, bars and pubs, shops or leisure facilities? Would you like to see more entertainment events in the town centre?

• Has the internet led to you shopping less in Darlington town centre? Would you use collection services in the town centre for online shopping? Does online promotion of Darlington town centre on social networks encourage you to visit the town centre?

We will publish some of the best ideas and arguments alongside our coverage of the conference, which will take place on Thursday, March 27, between 5pm and 8pm, at Central Hall, in the town centre.

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