Darlington is experiencing an economic surge with cranes in the air, new housing being built and nationally significant industries attracted to the town. Meanwhile we are on the brink of significant investment in our theatre and in the theatre for young people; we have a festival with international reach which continues to grow; a land mark celebration of the birth of the modern railway and are part of a Tees Valley bid to become a Capital of Culture.
This conference won’t be an exercise in navel gazing. We will be making plans for how we grasp these thrilling cultural opportunities and shape an engaging, inspiring and inclusive cultural offer to complement and drive forward this renaissance.
What role will you play in shaping and delivering this?
We will hear from Wayne Hemingway who has fashioned iconic cultural activities like Transatlantic 175 in Liverpool and structures, most recently Margate’s stunning Dreamland, that have anchored and driven regeneration and economic growth around the country. We will then discuss with him and regional cultural animateurs how we can apply this to Darlington.
Come and participate in this landmark conference and help articulate a cultural vision for Darlington.
Some fantastic things were discussed, from ways to allow new artists to emerge and flourish through to ways that Darlington can become a cultural centre plus ways in which individuals and organisations can become engaged.
"Just a note to say how much I enjoyed Monday’s Culture Event at the Dolphin. Really good atmosphere and well attended. Wayne was a star turn, and I overheard a lot of positive feedback."
"some interesting insights and a lot of passion for making Darlington a culture of ingenuity"
"Great as a student to hear influential people say what can be done to make Darlington thrive as a town of culture"
Wayne Hemingway, MBE is an English fashion designer and co-founder of Red or Dead. He is also chairman of the 'South Coast Design Forum', and chair of Building For Life
Stella is the Director of Festival of Thrift and has led festivals across the UK including Preston Guild 2012, Belfast Festival at Queens and Barclays New Stages as well as founding the region’s Enchanted Parks, EAT! Festival and Juice Festival as Director of the innovative culture 10 programme
Sharon is Assistant Dean for Business Engagement & Educational Partnerships at Teesside University. This involves working with creative and cultural organisations at a local, national and international level, as well the University's network of partner Further Education Colleges.
Before taking up an academic career, she worked professionally as an actor, facilitator, workshop leader and theatre designer and latterly as a creative producer, working with theatre companies across the UK
The Chief Executive of Darlington Borough Council, Ada is passionate about the town and the Tees Valley and is keen to support the 200th anniversary of the Stockton-Darlington railway and the bid to be City of Culture, both in 2025.
The Case for Culture is a positive statement of ambition for the next 15 years, building on the strengths of the North East’s diverse communities and pointing to the opportunities for further investment in arts and heritage right across the region.
Following a seminar in 2014 a Task Group was established to attempt to progress a number of key aspects of the cultural agenda in the Tees Valley. The progress made so far and proposals for future action were published in the Task and Finish Group Final Report.
BK have conducted research and consultation to refinine the definitions of "creative and cultural social enterprises"; map the sector in the Tees Valley; and compare this with other UK areas and identify the needs for support.
The Dolphin Centre
There are a number of Pay & Display car parks within a short walk of the Dolphin Centre.
For further information on these, please visit:
Darlington Railway Station provides easy access from across the North East and is a short walk from the Dolphin Centre.
For further information please visit: