Darlington Town centre is, like many others, struggling to compete with online sellers and large, out of town retail parks. Even more so, there is very little to attract young people to come into the town centre so many are not even aware of what there is. One way to combat this would be to encourage more active leisure and entertainment options (over & above the passive options of cinema and eating). Things like indoor crazy golf, a climbing centre, bowling, e-sports and kareoke can help to engender community spirit, group socialising and a sense of pride and belonging, especially in the 14 – 25 year olds – an age group who, if we don’t encourage to play a part in supporting the town centre, will be lost and with them the future of Darlington as a viable town.
Making funding and business support available to young entrepreneurs and encouraging them to open up and manage such activities will ensure new options are best tailored to the target market.
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