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About the One Darlington Partnership


One Darlington - formerly Darlington Partnership - grew out of the Employers’ Forum, formed in 1992 by Darlington’s MP and the Leader of the Council, to engage and work with the main private sector companies in Darlington. The forum was renamed and launched by Tony Blair as Darlington Partnership in 1997. Recognised by government as a model of good practice, it has expanded under the chairmanship of Alasdair MacConachie, to include broader representation from the public, community and voluntary sectors.  


Darlington Partnership has two purposes: 

  • to agree what the major issues and opportunities are for Darlington
  • to ensure action is being taken to address them.

The partnership is a broad network of strong relationships based on the core values of respect, openness and a willingness to act. These personal relationships are the partnership’s greatest strength and they enable honest and effective communication.  The partnership has no resources of its own and relies on the people and the organisations involved with it to take the actions needed to achieve its goals. The partnership has a long term vision called ‘One Darlington Perfectly Placed’ and in addition, when urgent problems or opportunities arise, the partnership can issue an immediate call to action.

The value of the partnership is that so much more can be achieved when everyone is focused on the same objective and is prepared to work together. The partnership strives to involve as many people as possible from the community and the private, public and voluntary sectors who share the ambition of the best possible future for Darlington. 

Governance and structure

One Darlington Partnership Board meet bi-monthly to identify issues and opportunities facing Darlington and promote action to address them.

This is a relatively informal body that draws together groups and individuals from across the Borough. Some of the organisations are beneficiaries of the Partnerships work, whilst others contribute time and talent to it. Most of the people involved do it because they can see their work contributing towards a better Darlington. Importantly, the Partnership has no statutory or legal powers - it's strength and ability to make things happen comes from the combined will of all those who participate.

The Partnership has two formal bodies that guide and organise its work.

The One Darlington Board is the most important of these. It's a relatively large body that represents four key 'faces' of the Borough: public sector bodies for the likes of health, education and policing; community groups; the voluntary sector and business. The Board sets the Partnership's objectives and priorities and, every 2 months, it's meeting provides an opportunity for all parts of the community to debate a wide range of issues and agree actions. 

The Executive of the Partnership: is a much smaller body that meets monthly and looks after the management of the Partnership in that it deals with 'what are we doing', 'who's doing it' and 'when will it be done'! Once again, all 4 'faces' of the Borough are represented and you can see who sits on the Executive by visiting the Executive page here.

Get in touch

We are keen to hear your thoughts.

Please get in touch by calling 01325 405836, emailing or writing to One Darlington, Room 101, Town Hall, Feethams, DL1 5QT.