Planning applications submitted to restore Darlington’s historic yards

Pinchinthorpe Hall

Planning applications have been submitted in a bid to restore Darlington’s historic yards to former glory, outlining upgraded shopfronts.

The plans have been designed as part of Darlington Council’s multi-million pound Towns Fund scheme.

The council enlisted the help of artist Nicky Peacock in collaboration with Northern Pulp Design to design the proposals with the aim of enhancing, restoring and showcasing the town’s period character.

If approved, The Cheese and Wine Shop in Clark’s Yard, Yaeger barbers on Skinnergate and Aquaintance hair salon in Buckton’s Yard will be given makeovers in an effort to build on their natural charm.

The improvements will include replacing existing shop fronts with traditional-style wood panelling and hand-painted signs.

The leader of Darlington 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.”

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.”

A bargeboard, finial and stallriser will be added to Aquaintance hair salon, as well as decorative shutters and pastel-coloured stripes, similar to the ones already completed in Post House Wynd.

The business name will be painted directly on to the wall to mirror the feel of how the throughfare might have looked in past times.

The Cheese & Wine Shop is a grade II listed building and will have its woodwork and windows replaced, with the addition of Dutch orange timber shutters. Yaeger barbers, another listed building, still has its original doors and windows and these will be hand-painted in buttermilk and pale sage tones to enhance its beauty.

Councillor Scott 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.”