About Us

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Darlington for Culture (DfC) was set up late in 2010 to help protect and promote arts and culture in the town. It was established as a co-operative in Spring 2011 and members include representatives of arts and community groups.

DfC is an enabling and co-operative organisation with a mission to create the conditions where arts, craft and culture can flourish for the benefit of everyone in Darlington, the wider region and beyond.


Support us

If you are interested in becoming a member, volunteering, providing sponsorship, or just want to find out more about DfC, please contact us via one of the following methods:

Website – www.darlingtonforculture.org

Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Darlington-For-Culture-the-official-site/199164086795786

Twitter – @darloforculture

Email –  darlo4culture@gmail.com

Address- Darlington for Culture Ltd, Heritage Healthcare, 10 Houndgate, Darlington, Co. Durham, DL1 5RF

– IPS Registration Number: 31264R


Just take 5!

Since we established Darlington for Culture back in 2010, we have achieved much, including events that have attracted thousands, a volunteer service, a weekly email update of all things cultural in our town that goes to hundreds of local people, and the establishment of the very first Darlington Arts Festival with over 70 events in May 2013. We could not have done this without the very generous giving of time, money and enthusiasm by volunteers, members and supporters just like you.

We have an ambition to achieve much, much more and will need all the help we can get to protect and promote arts and culture in Darlington so it can flourish in these very difficult times. Following a suggestion at a members meeting we are appealing to you to speak to 5 other people to encourage them do 5 things to support us.

Point them to our website and encourage them to do as many of the following things to help us as possible:

  1. Become a member of Darlington for Culture – find out how here
  2. Join our mailing list for weekly cultural updates – by emailing darlington4culture@gmail.com
  3. Become a volunteer – find out how here
  4. Go to lots of the fantastic events that are taking place as part of Darlington Arts Festival – find out what is going on here
  5. Visit our website regularly

So go on – just take 5 to help arts and culture flourish in Darlington!

Jo Potter
Chair, Darlington for Culture

 


MORE INFORMATION ABOUT DFC

A Community Solution to a Community Need

Background

Darlington for Culture (DfC) was set up late in 2010 to help protect and promote arts and culture in the town. It was established as a co-operative in Spring 2011 and members include representatives of arts and community groups.

Mission
DfC is an enabling and co-operative organisation with a mission to create the conditions where arts, craft and culture can flourish for the benefit of everyone in Darlington, the wider region and beyond.

Values and beliefs
DfC’s values are based on the seven principles of co-operation:
· Voluntary and open membership
· Democratic member control
· Member economic participation
· Autonomy and independence
· Education, training and information
· Co-operation
· Concern for community

DfC believes that creativity flourishes when artists, residents, cultural organisations and creative businesses work together and are supported to do things for themselves, where artistic freedom and co-operation thrive in perfect balance.

Objectives
To support artists, cultural organisations and creative businesses to develop and grow.
To release the creative potential of local people.
To provide opportunities for all local people to engage in quality arts, craft and culture.
To create links within, and a voice for, the cultural community in and beyond Darlington.

Key activities

Volunteer service – in a collaboration with Darlington Hippodrome, Darlington Culture Volunteers support cultural activities across the region. The volunteers are inducted and DBS checked, and the service follows comprehensive policies and procedures, as well as having relevant insurance in place. DCVs provide volunteer support for cultural activities across Darlington, ranging from help with arts activities for kids to assistance in administrative tasks.

Engagement – Via a database of supporters, DfC are able to engage with a range of culture lovers, artists, arts organisations and creative businesses across the local area. Regular members meetings enable us to understand the needs, issues and opinions of the local cultural community and feed this in to our discussions with those in positions of power. Local arts organisations are the lifeblood of culture in the town and through meetings and positive collaboration we demonstrate how much we take engagement with them seriously. As the only community organisation represented on the Creative Darlington Board our representative role is very important and we are always looking for ways to increase our engagement.

Promotion and marketing – DfC sends a weekly newsletter link to an emailing list of more than 200 people. We also promote local events, artists and cultural organisations via our website, Facebook (with more than 1,000 likes), Twitter (more than 4,300 followers), Instagram (more than 600 followers) and via our information stall, which we take to a number of local events.

Darlington Arts Festival – Since 2013, DfC has co-ordinated an annual Darlington Arts Festivals in the month of May. The aims of the festival are to bring excellent arts events to the residents of Darlington and also to promote and highlight all of the wonderful cultural activities and organisations that already regularly exist in the town.


Legal, Willing and Able!

A Community Benefit Society

We reviewed all the options and decided to form as a Community Benefit Society. This will put individual and group members at the heart of everything – so that Darlington for Culture is owned and shaped by you.

A Community Benefit Society, or Bencom for short, is a type of Industrial and Provident Society (IPS) that is

  • an incorporated body with limited liability under the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts 1965-2002 and the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2003
  • registered with the Financial Service Authority.

Well known IPS organisations include The Cooperative Group and FC United of Manchester.

Shares?

An IPS is limited by shares but, unlike company shares, they do not gain in face value and can be bought back by the IPS. One member, one vote always applies, no matter what a member’s shareholding (which can be up to a legal maximum of £20,000). IPS shares provide equity that the society can use both for raising investment and securing additional loan finance.

All members hold a £1 nominal share

One member, One Vote

An IPS must be a democratic organisation, based on one member, one vote. This aspect of an IPS is a clear advantage over the Community Interest Company model, for which democracy is not an in-built feature.

We plan for there to be two types of members – individuals and organisations.

Benefits

The other great benefit of setting up as a Bencom is that our options would be open, so we could either:

  • Convert to a multi-share Bencom able to carry out a community share issue, or
  • Convert to a Bencom with charitable status.

Directors

The founding directors of Darlington for Culture Limited are members of our steering group. Director elections will be based on one member, one vote.

Become a member so you can truly join us in shaping the future of culture in the town.