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Build & Sustainability

Council calls for expert views on landmark newspaper office overhaul

A local authority is seeking ideas for the redevelopment of a landmark newspaper office.

Darlington Borough Council wants to gather views and market insight on the future of The Northern Echo building.

The council bought the site – where the newspaper has been based for more than 100 years – earlier in 2022, with an adult skills centre planned for its ground floor.

However, bosses are still seeking options for its upper three floors, and have launched a preliminary market engagement (PME) exercise to attract potential blueprints.

Open to interested organisations with relevant experience and expertise, officials say they hope the PME generates ideas, as well as potential procurement strategies for any project.

Organisations have been asked to provide information to help shape technical requirements and explain potential options and solutions.

Councillor Jamie Bartch, cabinet member for economy [pictured, below], said: “The Echo building is an exciting project, one that could bring new jobs and high quality office space to an under-utilised part of the town centre.



“However, it’s a huge building in need of a lot of work and before we dive in to make plans we want to hear from the market about technical issues that need to be considered and views around the options for delivery routes.

“We’re also looking for market insight into potential future uses for the building.”

Comments and returns can be submitted until December 19, by visiting

The council bought the newspaper building using cash support from the Towns Fund and Tees Valley Combined Authority.