Bookings open for Darlington Business Week

HOW to grow and develop a business, staying cyber safe, developing international trade and the potential pitfalls around social media use are some of the hot topics covered during this year’s Darlington Business Week, set to take place from Monday 7 until Friday 11 October.

More than fourteen free networking events, workshops and seminars, will take place at a range of venues across the town, giving local and regional businesses of all sizes the chance to meet fellow business people and find out how they can access what’s on offer to help them grow and develop their companies.

Advice on funding and business growth, exporting, training, social media and marketing, social enterprise, preventing digital and cyber fraud and scams, (including a live online hack), looking after mental health and much more, will be on offer throughout the week.

The Week will be launched on Monday 7 October 8.30am at the Teesside University National Horizons Centre, Central Park, Darlington, by Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen along with Councillor Alan Marshall, the council’s cabinet member for Economy and Regeneration and Mark Ladyman, Assistant Director, Economic Growth. They will be talking about opportunities and developments in Darlington and the wider Tees Valley.

Organised by the council’s Business Investment team, the Week is supported by a wide range of organisations including Business Central, Barclays Bank, Citizen’s Advice, The Police, North East England Chamber of Commerce, Clive Owen, Darlington College, Teesside University, TEDCO and Darlington Business Club. The popular Jobs Fair will also return on Thursday 10 October from 10am-2pm, places are available for prospective employers to book a free stand at the Jobs Fair.

Councillor Alan Marshall, the council’s cabinet member for Economy and Regeneration, said:

“This is a unique event in Darlington and probably the biggest one of its kind across the Tees Valley. I would encourage anyone in business to take a look at what’s on offer. It’s a brilliant chance to find out more about a range of hot topics affecting many businesses today and also a great way to network with others and find out how much support there is locally and regionally.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen added:

“From innovative start-ups to global companies, Darlington is home to some fantastic businesses, all with a wealth of experience to share. Whether it’s to tackle certain issues facing sectors head-on, highlighting supply chain opportunities or simply sharing success stories and experience, working together is key. That’s why I’d urge any and all businesses in the borough to come along and get involved in this great week.”

To book, go to or contact the Business Investment team on 01325 406305 or email


A run-down of events is as follows:

Monday 7 October

Darlington Economy Update and Event launch – 8.30-10.30am, Teesside University National Horizons Centre, Central Park, Darlington. Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen along with Councillor Alan Marshall, the council’s cabinet member for Economy and Regeneration and Mark Ladyman, Assistant Director, Economic Growth. Opportunities and developments in Darlington and the wider Tees Valley. The event will also include information on the new venue and an optional tour.

Using Social Media in the workplace – 11.30am-2pm, Darlington Rugby Club.

Anthony Willis, employment solicitor at BHP Law will give an overview of what you should include in your company’s social media policy and the legal implications of not having one. The Social Gene will share their top tips on the do’s and don’ts of social media etiquette for business owners.

Registration from 11.30am with coffee. The seminar is due to start at midday followed by a buffet lunch at 1pm with the opportunity to ask questions and network.

Hot Topics – 11am – 5pm, Business Central.  A series of short talks and events covering a range of topics including mental health awareness, making tax digital, marketing, social enterprise, and HR.


Tuesday 8 October

Fraud and scam awareness around digital safety, 10am-noon, Barclays Bank, High Row.

With Gareth Goddard, Barclays Bank, and a member of The North East Regional Cyber Crime Unit (NERCCU) who will also be presenting and supporting the event. As part of their display, they will be demonstrating a live hack to attendees.

Chamber Exchange, 11am-2pm, Rockliffe Hall.

The Chamber’s flagship networking event encouraging an exchange of experiences, ideas and offers between members.


Wednesday 9 October

Upscale your Business, 8-10.30am, Darlington College.

Helping local businesses understand how they can develop and upskill their workforce and grow internationally. This is a joint event with Department for international trade and will have companies in attendance that can support with funding, grants and sustainable transport initiatives.

Practical Digital Marketing Solutions, 10am-1.30pm, Mowden Park Rugby Club.

A practical seminar covering video content, written content and email marketing resulting in a template to deliver regular and successful digital marketing.

DigitalCity showcase, 1-4pm, Teesside University Centre for Professional Executive Development, Darlington. Showcasing the support that DigitalCity offers digital/tech businesses and companies in the wider sectors via digital transformation activities.


Thursday 10 October

Recruitment Fair, 10am-2pm, Dolphin Centre.

A chance for businesses to showcase career opportunities and for the public to find out more about what’s on offer in the borough.

Darlington Social Media café, noon-1.30pm, Business Central.

Learn more about the latest social media tools, applications and platforms and ask the experts in an informal setting.

Virtual and hard hat tour of Feethams new office development, 1-2pm at the site office, Feethams, Darlington. A unique opportunity for potential tenants to tour the site mid-construction, take a virtual tour of the “completed” development and to meet the letting agents to discuss potential requirements.


Friday 11 October

Business Exchange with Professor Ian Pearson, 7.30-9.15am, Centre for Professional and Executive Development.

Futurist Dr Ian Pearson, has over 1800 inventions to his name, including text messaging and the active contact lens, and more recently a number of inventions in transport technology, including driverless transport and space travel. He has written eight books and made well over 750 TV and radio appearances.

In this presentation, Ian will identify and explain the key changes ahead in every sector of business and society that will arise as a result of rapidly changing technology – without the use of jargon.

Optional: delegates are invited to an exclusive tour of the new National Horizons Centre following this event (numbers strictly limited).

More details and how to book any of the events can be found at www.investindarlington/events

Business support and advice is available throughout the year from the council’s Business Investment team. Call 406305 or email

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