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Planning applications submitted to restore historic yards

Plans to upgrade the shopfronts in Darlington’s yards have been developed as part of the Council’s multi-million pound Towns Fund scheme.

Artist Nicky Peacock was commissioned to design the proposals to makeover The Cheese and Wine Shop in Clark’s Yard, Yaeger barbers on Skinnergate, and Aquaintance hair salon in Buckton’s Yard.

The Council hope the regeneration work will enhance, restore and showcase the town’s period character, replacing the existing shop fronts with traditional wood panelling and hand-painted signs.

The leader of Darlington Borough Council, Heather Scott, said: ‘The work will not only bring these beautiful old buildings back to their former glory but will also make the town centre as a whole more attractive.

‘The town centre benefits from being relatively compact and has retained much of its Victorian character – seen especially in our historic wynds and yards. Changing consumer behaviour driven by technology, out of town shopping and prevailing economic conditions means the centre has not escaped the impact of changes to the retail industry. Our Towns Fund team are working hard to regenerate the town centre.’

She added: ‘The restoration of these shops will benefit traders, customers and the entire community, as the whole area improves in appearance and our heritage is protected for future generations to explore and enjoy.’

Aquaintance hair salon will benefit from decorative shutters and pastel-coloured stripes, alongside the addition of a bargeboard, finial and stallriser.

The Cheese & Wine Shop is a grade II listed building and will have its woodwork and windows replaced, and Dutch orange timber shutters added, while Yaeger barbers will have its original doors and windows hand-painted.

Artist Nicky Peacock said: ‘All these properties will have new hand-painted signage by a professional signwriter using traditional methods and enamel paints that date back to the 13th century. We will use timber and heritage quality paints that best suit these historic buildings.

‘We have some really beautiful buildings in our town centre, with a lot of history and character. Unfortunately, over the years, quite a bit of this character has been covered up or fallen into disrepair, and a number of shop fronts no longer match the buildings that they belong to. Many of the traditional market town features do still exist, but work needs to be done to discover these hidden treasures and bring them back to their former glory.’

In related news, residents and businesses are being asked their views to help shape the future regeneration of West Bromwich.

Photo supplied by Darlington Borough Council

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