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Darlington Arts Transformation Project

  • Client:
    Darlington Borough Council

The Brief

The brief for this project consisted of three main elements:

Facilitation of the ‘Enquiry Group’ process being undertaken within the Council to review existing Arts policy and provision.

Review of facilities and venues across the Borough and a focus on the future of the Darlington Arts Centre complex including options for commercial and shared uses.

Research into best practice examples for a range of governance and organisational arrangements for the delivery of an Arts Vision and Strategy.

Our Role

Globe and our sub-contractor Culture Partners worked closely with the Council’s Planning, Arts and Property officers to determine the review criteria for the Borough Arts Service and its principal venues, Darlington Arts Centre and the Civic Theatre.

Responding to a changing political and community agenda, much of Globe’s work focused on the potential of Darlington Arts Centre and its fitness of purpose as a 21st Century venue. This included a detailed assessment of the existing uses in relation to both building form and condition and a specific assessment of the Centre as a performance space.

Coupled with an assessment of operational costs and the potential for commercial letting of office space within the building we were able to provide the Council with an outline business plan for the Centre and a report that considered the opportunities and risks associated with both relocation away from the Centre and the continuation of the Centre with a voluntary management company.


The project report was presented at a joint meeting between representatives of the Council and the voluntary management company allowing a full discussion of the issues and recommendations within the report, which was subsequently used to help inform the Council’s forward strategy.

Darlington Arts Centre closed its doors for the final time on the 7th July 2012

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