Darlington Town Centre

Darlington,  County Durham


Darlington Town Centre Public Art Strategy

Principal Stakeholders

  • Local authority: Darlington Town Council
  • Artists: Will Lasdun and Kate Maestri


Development of a public realm arts programme as part of the retail-led regeneration of Darlington Town Centre.


Darlington is one of the Tees Valley’s most beautiful market towns; it is woefully let down by its town centre, however, much of which fell victim to misconceived town planning in the ‘60s and 70s. The vision for its regeneration was to deliver a new shopping hub that would respect the character of the town and seek to mend its weaknesses: much of the centre is poorly connected with a poor arrangement of buildings.


Consultation with the community was central to the project; working with the cultural development team at Darlington Council, plan devised a series of creative consultation events targeted at different members of the community, these included shoppers using the facilities in the town centre, resident communities and local businesses.


The progrmme delivered to the client set out a vision of integrating artworks into the fabric of the architecture, in particular the proposed Winter Garden and linking  footbridge, and building a spirit of partnership between artists, architects and the local community. Following the acceptance of this strategy, Plan Projects worked with Darlington Town Council and local stakeholders to arrive at two proposals for different aspects of the site, by Will Lasdun and Kate Maestri.