Change of image for market town

The ease of the link via the A68 to the A1(M) is helping companies covering the major conurbations of the North-East and even further afield given the good links with the main manufacturing belt stretched across the M62 in South Yorkshire.

The ease of the link via the A68 to the A1(M) is helping companies covering the major conurbations of the North-East and even further afield given the good links with the main manufacturing belt stretched across the M62 in South Yorkshire.

Faverdale is an important location with large facilities being used by Aldi, 360,000sqft, and Argos, 760,000sqft, amongst others. The clear benefit of the Faverdale address is its position on the A68 to the west of the town centre.

Here the Easter Group has four new distribution/production units available ranging in size from 20,000sqft to 100,000sqft.

The units have high eaves and loading bays and ample yard space. These are available on a to-let basis with rents ranging from £90,000 per annum or for sale with prices ranging from £1.2m to £5.6m.

In addition to the growing distribution base for the town is the expected redevelopment of the Queen Street shopping centre into a 260,000sqft town centre mall which is important for the town as it is one of the strong retail destinations in Tees Valley.

The on-going development of Morton Palms office park, on the eastern side of the town, is also important in that it underlines the attractiveness of the town as an office base.

Tees Valley Regeneration is developing its Central Park project next to Darlington's railway station. In total some £170m will be invested here to provide new homes, the new £35m Darlington College, which opened last year, four and five-storey office buildings as well as community space and parks. In all around 2,000 jobs will be generated.

The scale of this development underlines another aspect of the town's communications, the East Coast Main Line which places Darlington just over two hours' from London. As Tees Valley Regeneration says, Darlington has "one of the best transport infrastructures in the UK".

Tees Valley Regeneration, together with partners Darlington Borough Council, One NorthEast, English Partnerships, Darlington College and Tees Valley Partnership, include plans for a hotel and conference centre close to an impressive new link to the railway station.

All these developments point to a very significant change for Darlington which has largely been thought of as a large, affluent, market town. Now it is a strong commercial property location with lots of potential - the town's image is going through a transformation for the better.

James Bower is property agent Atisreal's industrial specialist in its Newcastle office.

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