NEW DARLINGTON ADULT SKILLS CENTRE TO BOOST LOCAL COMMUNITY AND ECONOMY

16th March 2022
Home > News > NEW DARLINGTON ADULT SKILLS CENTRE TO BOOST LOCAL COMMUNITY AND ECONOMY

While there are many calls to turn old office space into new homes in Darlington, not every building needs to be utilised in this manner. There are many things needed in the heart of the town, and at Anthony Jones, we are pleased to see any significant development which will benefit the community.

FRESH OPPORTUNITIES IN DARLINGTON

It looks as though the Northern Echo building, a town centre landmark in Darlington, will soon gain a new lease of life as an Adult Skills Centre. This is something that will help many people in the local community, and it might even boost the economy.

Funding from the Towns Fund and Tees Valley Combined Authority will be used to develop a ground floor Adult Skills Centre. The centre will offer:

People the chance to improve their skills, develop new skills and to gain qualifications
People guidance on what career path is right for them
Retraining opportunities
Employment training
There will be a communal entrance and reception area as well as a resources base, a teaching office and there will be meeting spaces. It is also hoped that space on the upper floors of the building will be refurbished and used for office space. There is a need for good quality and dependable office space in Darlington town centre, so this is welcome news.

WHAT DO LOCAL LEADERS THINK ABOUT THE DEVELOPMENT PLANS?

Councillor Heather Scott, leader of Darlington Borough Council, spoke to the Darlington and Stockton Times, saying; “The Echo building is one of our town’s most iconic buildings – up there with the clock tower and Victorian covered market in terms of being instantly recognisable to Darlington people. We want to breathe new life into it, while being respectful of its heritage. The new facility will be superb and will make a huge difference to hundreds of people across Darlington looking to learn new skills. We want to support local employers with the talent they need to grow, creating better skilled workforces and more jobs. This investment ticks those boxes.”

The Towns Fund Board chair Angela Howey also spoke to the Darlington and Stockton Times, saying; “The new facility will help deliver lifelong learning in an education, skills and enterprise space. We are looking to co-design programmes with Darlington College, the council, TVCA, Teesside University and local businesses to increase productivity and create sustainable jobs. The regeneration of the famous building aims to provide a holistic location for those seeking to bolster their existing employability skills or transition into high-demand employment opportunities such as finance, engineering, or logistics. The building will be fully refurbished across each of its floors to transform it into a 21st century learning zone and business hub whilst committing to retaining the charm of the original exterior. The centre will give people the skills they need. We are working closely with Darlington College to maximise the offerings that can be delivered as part of this scheme and enhance the educational provision delivered in the town centre.”

Northern Echo managing director David Coates said: “I am delighted the building will be in such safe hands and will continue to play a vital role for the community, with the Echo itself remaining at the heart of the town.”

CONTACT ANTHONY JONES FOR ALL DARLINGTON PROPERTY MATTERS

If you are looking for help with any matter of the Darlington property market, it is best to speak to property professionals. No one knows for sure what is going to happen next, so we won’t claim to have all the answers, but the Anthony Jones team is keen to help you as best we can. If you would like to contact us over housing matters, please call us today on 01325 776424.


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