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Building retrofit- Darlington Borough Council

Darlington Borough Council has made a commitment to reducing its impact on climate change. We have several buildings, all of which will gain from energy efficiency measures and investment in new technologies.

Our Theatre, the Darlington Hippodrome, is a Grade II listed historic building that opened in 1907. The building was extensively restored in 2017/18 and in addition to a 1,000 seat auditorium now includes an education centre supporting daytime learning and engagement activities. Alongside the Theatre, a children’s theatre venue, The Hullaballoo, opened in 2017. The Hullaballoo includes a family café and creative play spaces. The area is also available to community arts users when not in use as a theatre. While neither venue has been open during lockdown, youth theatre and youth dance sessions have moved online, and adult dance fitness sessions are also taking place online.

As a listed building, we need to be mindful that the improvements we make are in keeping with the building, at the same time as ensuring it is fit for the 21st century. We have been successful in our bid to the Government’s decarbonisation fund and will be examining heating water using heat pumps and ensuring we do not waste heating when doors are open for loading. Energy efficiency measures will include lighting and equipment management. We will also be including the Theatre in our district heat network feasibility study.

Our library is a Victorian building opened in 1885 following a bequest in the will of Edward Pease. The family donated many of their own books, photographs, and paintings. The library also houses the Centre for Local Studies, which holds many paintings, mostly of Darlington men and women who have made a notable contribution to the town. The library will be undergoing an extensive refurbishment, including a replacement roof, which will improve both energy performance and user experience.

Darlington has a significant place in the history of railways. The Stockton & Darlington railway opening ceremony in 1825 was the first time a steam locomotive was used to haul passengers on a public railway.

Significant works are planned for the railway heritage quarter, which will significantly improve the energy performance of the Head of Steam, the Goods Shed and the Carriage Works through an air source heat pump and improvements to the building.

Skerne Railway Bridge, the oldest operating railway bridge in the world in continuous use, has been recognised as an important cultural asset for the nation by Historic England and has been named as one of the nation’s 100 Places.  Access to the bridge and information on its history has been greatly improved and a new walking and cycling route has been established.

We encourage our partners and supporters to share their examples of good practice in tackling the climate emergency, reversing ecological collapse and delivering a just transition. NEECCo does not undertake to quality assure these case studies, and inclusion of a case study on this website does not imply endorsement of the project by NEECCo or by its partners.

Some case studies will feature organisations who are involved in fossil fuel industries, or who are open to challenge on other aspects of their performance in relation to our objectives. NEECCo recognises that if we are to reach our ambitious objectives, all organisations and individuals within the north east will need to adapt their behaviour and actions. We want our case studies to encourage this process. Our commitment to achieving a just transition from a carbon-based economy to a green economy requires us to encourage positive steps wherever they are to be found. 

We are interested in your views on the case studies so please choose to like/ dislike each case study.