Pedestrian Heart Project

Darlington, UK

Pedestrian Heart Project

The £9.2m Pedestrian Heart project, led by Gillespies, has transformed the centre of Darlington through the creation of a series of new public spaces, improved streetscapes and public art.

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In 2001, a study of Darlington Town Centre identified the need for a bold strategy to help the north‑eastern town to stand up to its regional economic competitors. Darlington Borough Council and One NorthEast, through the Tees Valley Partnership, invested heavily in the project and appointed Gillespies to lead the transformation of the town.

Drawing on the areas unique character and impressive history, Gillespies delivered a high-quality public realm and streetscape that reinforced the distinctiveness of Darlington, addressed usage patterns, and created a vibrant new destination and economic hub. By reorganising and redesigning the traffic system, the scheme created a new pedestrian space with bold swathes of planting, seating areas, water features and a focal market area.

Through careful detailing the project built on the character and history of Darlington whilst providing a new chapter for the town, and a streetscape that caters for modern day living in a changing society.