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Living in Darlington: the local area guide

Darlington is an attractive town built around a beautiful historic market square, where an open air market is still held on Saturdays and Bank Holidays. There is an imposing Victorian market hall, designed by the famous Quaker architect Alfred Wainwright, which was opened in 1863 and is still open to the public every week. Darlington is famous for being where the world’s first passenger train journey took place in 1825 and continued to develop as an important centre for the railway industry, with three large locomotive works. This rich history is celebrated by David Mack’s sculpture ‘Train’ which is made from 185,000 bricks and represents a life-sized locomotive emerging from a tunnel.

Darlington town centre has over 500 shops set in and around the town square, half of which are independent. The town also has a theatre, an arts centre, a comedy club, a museum and the 91-acre South Park. However, the South Park is presently being restored to its full Victorian glory.

Demographics

According to the 2011 Census, Darlington had a population of 106,000 making it a sizable town. The average age of Darlington residents is 40 and 91.6% of people in the town were born in England.

Throughout Darlington, there are major employers that are known to employ local members of the town. These employers include EE, who hire 2,500 people, and the Student Loans Company, who employ over 1,000 people. Other notable employers in the town are Darlington Building Society, vehicle rental company Northgate and Bannatyne Fitness Ltd.

The largest social grade amongst the residents, a classification system based on the occupation of the population, is C1, since 30.33% of the population work in administrative managerial professions. However, there are a significant amount of people who are classed as DE and C2 grade meaning that some of the population work in manual labour and lower level administrative roles.

Sources: 2011 National Census

Education

Darlington has numerous primary schools, such as St John’s Church of England Academy, St Augustine’s RC Primary School and Reid Street Primary School, all of which have been rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted in recent inspections.

Secondary schools in Darlington include Carmel College and Hurworth School, both of which were rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.

Transport

Darlington has convenient links to the northeast's major road, the A1(M), which passes by the west of the town, as well as to the A66, which connects to Stockton.

Darlington has excellent rail links. It is an important interchange on the East Coast Main Line and has regular services to Edinburgh Waverley, Manchester Piccadilly, Newcastle, Leeds and London Kings Cross. Darlington is also on the Tees Valley Line which runs from Saltburn to Bishop Auckland via Darlington, Stockton-on-Tees, Middlesbrough and other towns.

There is a good bus service that runs within the town and out to surrounding areas run by Arriva.

Amenities and Shopping

Darlington has a great selection of shops as well as the market place. There are popular stores such as Binns, Primark, Next and Waterstones, as well as numerous independent shops selling everything from art supplies to jewellery.

Darlington has plenty of supermarkets including Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons as well as smaller independent foodstores and delis. For real foodies there is a wealth of fantastic restaurants to choose from including The Old Yard Tapas Bar, the East Bamboo Chinese restaurant and a Mexican restaurant called The Voodoo Café Bar.

Darlington has its own theatre, which has a year-round programme of shows and events including comedy, drama and music plus the Head of Steam Darlington Railway Museum, which chronicles the town’s history as the birthplace of passenger railways. There is also the Forum Music Centre, which has live music and a monthly film club.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact editor@primelocation.com

p>All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith

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