Westpark is a unique development in Darlington and the North-East. Based around the first new park in the town in one hundred years, it brings together a new community – housing, school, hospital, pub, – but a community with a difference.
Public art is built into every aspect of this development. Texts and sculptures exploring the ecology of the site and the history of Darlington are placed around the park and throughout the surrounding buildings. Artists involved in the main park include poet W.N. Herbert, sculptor David Paton, and blacksmith Brian Russell.
From its hills you can see both Darlington and its spectacular hinterland, and on its sculptures you can read about the town’s equally extraordinary history. Start in the central amphitheatre and you encounter three definitions cut into steel focussing on principles at the heart of every community: caring, sharing and daring. Look beyond to the monumental Trinity Stones and you find haikus about rare animals which have found a safe habitat in the park: the dingy skipper butterfly, the little ringed plover, and the water vole. Cross the bridges and you find sonnets about Darlington’s industrial heritage, in particular the contribution of the Quaker dynasty, the Peases.
From common principles to protected wildlife to historical figures, the connections are there for you to explore.
- this is Locomotiontown, where the railways first ran
- this is Quakertown, where sharing took root
- this is the Darlingtown, that wears its heart within its name.
The Westpark development has already won several prestigious awards, including the RICS Gold Award for Regeneration and the LCG Sustainable Community Award.