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DURHAM County News


Spring 2017

The magazine for people in County Durham

A taste of Bishop Auckland Food Festival

Win a spa break, Durham VIP passes & Beamish tickets

Easter what’s on guide

Plans to steer the county’s growth


Spring is the perfect time to get out and about – and there’s plenty to do around County Durham over the next few weeks and months. Our park life feature on pages 24 and 25 includes lots of suggestions for enjoying the great outdoors and there’s more listed in our what’s on guide on pages 26 to 31.

to the spring edition of Durham County News

Spring marks the start of another fantastic year of high profile events and festivals across the county. Bishop Auckland Food Festival kicks it all off with a weekend of food, drink, music and comedy in April. Read more about what’s in store on pages 12 and 13. And there are details of the new DLI Collection Gallery now open at Palace Green on page 16.

Councillor Simon Henig, Leader of the Council


We are shining a light on Durham on page 15 to highlight our wonderful county. And if you would like to know more about how we’re investing in and shaping towns across the county, highlights of what we have achieved so far from our County Durham masterplans are on pages 6 to 9.

16 6


I hope you enjoy reading Durham County News and take a moment to explore our new online content by visiting www.durham.gov.uk/dcn

Simon Henig 8 Competition entries

Inside... 4-5










Competition entries should be received by Friday 7 April 2017 (unless the competition states otherwise). Pop your entries in one envelope (don’t forget to use a stamp!) and post to Durham County News, Durham County Council, County Hall, Durham DH1 1RH or drop them in to reception at any of our access points. NEW - you can now enter online at www.durham.gov.uk/dcn

Page News

Durham County News is written and designed by Durham County Council, printed by Acorn Web Offset Ltd and distributed by The National Leaflet Company and Royal Mail. It costs 16p a copy.


To contact the editorial team, call 03000 268 059 or email durhamcountynews@durham.gov.uk Please ask us if you would like this document summarised in another language or format. Braille


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Planning the county’s economic growth

Green living


A taste of Bishop Auckland Food Festival


Shining a light on Durham


Discover the new DLI Collection Gallery


Setting our budget for 2017/18


Local news pages


Discovering park life in County Durham


What’s on this spring

Front cover: Colin Burn tests the water at Seaham in preparation for the opening of a new water sports activity centre (see page 7).

Get set for awesome entertainment in 2017 Prepare to make memories this year as County Durham hosts yet another year of world-class entertainment. Thousands of people helped make events a success last year, and with 2017 promising to be even bigger and better, there’s plenty to look forward to.

Bishop Auckland Food Festival Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 April

Shout out to the foodies! Flavoursome dishes made with local food promise to tantalise your tastebuds at one of the country’s premier food festivals. See pages 8 & 9. www.bishopaucklandfood festival.co.uk

Kynren – An Epic Tale of England Saturday 1 July to Saturday 16 September More than 100,000 people were captivated by Kynren last year. Showcasing 2,000 years of British history, myth and legend, the epic open-air show is set to return bigger, better and brighter in 2017. www.kynren.co.uk

Heritage Open Days Thursday 7 to Sunday 10 September

Pearl Izumi May (dates to be confirmed)

Cheer on professional cyclists as they take on Durham City’s cobbles in a thrilling test of their skill and speed. www.tourseries.co.uk

Durham Miners’ Gala Saturday 8 July

Celebrate County Durham’s mining heritage as marching bands parade through Durham City with traditional colliery banners. www.durhamminers.org/

Discover hidden architectural treasures and enjoy a wide range of tours, events and activities bringing to life local history and culture. New venues interested in taking part contact 03000 267 133, heritageopendays@ durham.gov.uk

Durham Book Festival Saturday 7 to Sunday 15 October

With readings, performances and discussions covering a wide range of genres, there’s plenty to lose yourself in at Durham Book Festival. www.durhambookfestival.com

Watch highlights of last year’s events at www.durham.gov.uk/dcn

Durham Christmas Festival Friday 1 to Sunday 3 December

Lumiere Thursday 16 to Sunday 19 November

Jingle your way through Durham’s Christmas festivities with craft, gift and food stalls at the city’s everpopular festive market. www.durhamchristmas festival.com

Lumiere is back for the fifth time. Artists from around the world will illuminate the city in delightful and unexpected ways, with a series of stunning light installations to explore and admire. www.lumiere-festival.com


Friday 7 to Sunday 16 July Durham Brass Festival returns under the guidance of new artistic director Paul Gudgin. A brass player himself, Paul has taken the reins of a number of prestigious events, including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and is looking forward to his latest challenge. Brass opens the day before the Miners’ Gala and ends with Streets of Brass. Highlights include the BBC Big Band celebrating the legendary Dizzy Gillespie, Brass on Broadway, some brassed-up Northern Soul and a Venetian concert in Durham Cathedral. So grab your dancing shoes, find your rhythm and dance like no-one’s watching! www.brassfestival.co.uk

Entertainment in 2017


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A talented inventor has developed the first upgrade to the school crossing patrol sign in five decades and believes lives could be saved as a result. Andrew Turner, who has an office at the North East Technology Park (NETPark) in Sedgefield, County Durham, is to meet with distributors about his illuminated lollipop design after winning the backing of the Road Safety GB charity. The prototype, which uses edge lit plastic and has an eight-hour battery life, was produced thanks to support from Thorn Lighting, in Spennymoor, who he was introduced to by Business Durham. We conducted a survey, which showed that drivers were braking up to 40 per cent faster with the new stick than with a normal one.

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A three-day public exhibition held at County Hall told the widely unknown story of the Porrajmos, or Gypsy Holocaust, when hundreds of thousands of Gypsies were persecuted during the Second World War.

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Social Care Direct/Children’s First Contact Service

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Marking the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust’s theme of How can life go on?, members of the public lit LED candles, viewed authentic Roma recipes and provided pictures, poetry and their thoughts on how to learn from the past to prevent discrimination and hate crime.

Families Information Service

03000 26 99 95


For more information visit www.hmd.org.uk


Register online for care jobs Personal assistants looking for a job helping those in need of care and support can now register their details on our Locate website. Call 03000 268 200 for an application form.

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Double success at Keep Britain Tidy Awards We’re thrilled to have ‘cleaned up’ at the Keep Britain Tidy Awards, taking home prizes for best local authority and best campaign. We won the coveted Local Authority of the Year honour and also scooped Environmental Campaign of the Year for our anti-fly-tipping programme Operation Stop It, which has led to a 22 per cent reduction in flytipping. The awards celebrate the achievements of local authorities, businesses and land managers in improving the quality of public spaces through campaigns, innovations and partnerships. The local authority of the year prize was in recognition of our commitment to improving and protecting the environment – often involving the local community.

Memorial trail honours war heroes A new heritage trail explaining the history of South Moor has opened to the public. Those following the trail at Twizell Burn can learn about the village’s creation shortly before the First World War and how miners shaped the community before 200 of their number were sent to the frontline. The trail, which is part of a major regeneration scheme, has been created by the council with funding from Heritage Lottery Fund and Stanley Town Council.

Beat the Street Thousands of families are expected to take to the streets of Ferryhill and Chester-le-Street this spring as both areas are transformed into giant walking and cycling games. Running from Wednesday 29 March to Wednesday 17 May, Beat the Street is a free, fun challenge where people are rewarded with points and prizes for exploring a town on foot or bicycle. Special sensors, which people will need to swipe with a fob or card for a chance to win a prize, will be located on lampposts across the two areas. Schools will be competing against each other to see who can clock up the most miles travelled. The initiative is being delivered by Intelligent Health on behalf of the council. www.beatthestreet.me/clsferryhill

Scheme is Best Bar None An awards scheme that aims to raise the bar in Durham City pubs and clubs has received a national honour. Best Bar None, which operates in 34 towns and cities, promotes the responsible management and operation of licensed premises. The Durham version has now landed a national prize – being named best overall scheme in the country for 2016. News


County Durham Masterplans We’re working to bring investment and improvements to communities across County Durham. This work is guided by 12 town masterplans. Here we look at a few highlights of what has been achieved so far. Chester-le-Street Children are making a splash following a major investment by the council in facilities at Riverside Park. Funding of £250,000 was set aside for a Splash Pad to help kids cool down in the summer months. The play area, which is the only one of its type in County Durham, includes interactive water features. The Splash Pad is open every day during the May half term and throughout the school summer holidays, offering fun for families with kids from tots to early teens.



Improvements to roundabouts at the A693 Drum Industrial Estate and the A167/A693 Northlands. New war memorial unveiled in 2014.

North Durham

Consett A priest has said crossing to the other side is easy thanks to a new bridge! Father David Cleugh has given his blessing to the new £2.4 million Villa Real Bridge at Consett – making a hellish journey heavenly. With only one lane available and two sets of traffic lights, navigating the old bridge used to be something of a wing and a prayer job for the cleric. Now though - after work by the council - the two-lane replacement has been met by a chorus of approval from local people. Father Cleugh, who looks after St Ives Parish, Leadgate, said: “The new bridge is great for business. Everyone I speak to says it’s much easier to cross than the old one.”

Plus: A £44 million investment has seen the creation of the new Consett Academy and Leisure Centre, with facilities including two swimming pools, gym, squash courts and 3G pitch.


County Durham Masterplans

People in Stanley are now enjoying easier access to a range of council services. The town’s library, Customer Access Point (CAP) and registrars’ service are now all conveniently located together at the recently refurbished Louisa Centre. The services are based on one level in bright and modern accommodation at the leisure centre. The library and CAP form the fifth and final phase of a wider refurbishment project that has been carried out at the Louisa Centre to improve leisure facilities and reduce running costs. The project has also seen the extension of the children’s soft play area, a new space for aerobics classes and new gym and weight room facilities.

Plus: 74 residents helped into employment through the Stanley Apprenticeship Programme. Works in the town centre including new paving, lighting, street furniture and planting.

Durham Down by the river will soon Plus: be the place to be as the banks of the Wear receive a major facelift. The city’s biennial Lumiere is now The private sector redevelopment of the Milburngate House site and recognised as the biggest and best light The Gates is set to completely transform the area, with brand new festival in the UK. restaurants, cinemas, office space and housing. This new-look riverside will also provide stunning views of Durham’s £3 million regeneration of Wharton Park. historical beating heart, while bringing some modern architectural beauty to the banks of the Wear. The relocation of the Passport Office and National Savings from Milburngate House to Freeman’s Reach helped retain about 1,200 jobs and was the biggest Government property contract outside of London. This came about after we took a 35-year lease on the scheme to provide certainty and generate an income for the council.

Central and East Durham


Peterlee Plans are on track to create a new rail station at Horden. A public consultation has revealed overwhelming support for the proposal. With more than 98 per cent of the 1,300 people who took part in an online survey saying they supported the station and over 50 per cent saying they would use it every week. By providing much easier travel to Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesbrough, the station will help residents in the surrounding area access jobs and opportunities across the region. As well as boosting the local economy and improving the prospects of people in the area it is hoped it will also encourage more environmentally friendly travel. Funding from the North East LEP Local Growth Fund has conditionally been approved, while a second application to the Department for Transport’s New Stations Fund is also being considered. We are currently working with Network Rail, train operators and other key stakeholders on the project plan, proposed design and operation of the new facility.

Plus: £25 million investment by Bristol Laboratories to set up a new manufacturing base. New bike and skate park.

A new water sports activity centre is set to make a splash in Seaham. The £900,000 centre, due to open this spring, will be based at Seaham Harbour Marina. The marina is a joint venture project between ourselves and the Watch a video about the centre at Victoria Group www.durham.gov.uk/dcn (Port of Seaham owners) and is managed by a separate company, the Seaham Harbour Community Interest Company (CiC). The council has secured funding from Sports England to help the CiC establish a comprehensive programme of activities. The centre will provide a variety of opportunities to try different activities, including stand up paddleboarding and kayaking, all under the watchful eye of trained professionals.

Plus: New ResQ call centre at Spectrum Business Park has brought hundreds of new jobs to the town. £14 million investment in new Seaham School of Technology.

More masterplans overleaf.

County Durham Masterplans


County Durham Masterplans Bishop Auckland We’ve already carried out an award-winning multimillion pound regeneration of Bishop Auckland Market Place, which took place in 2011. And we’re now in the middle of another £2.2 million project, supported by the North East LEP, to improve the links between the market place and Auckland Castle – realigning the road, creating new parking and event spaces and improving the market area itself. All of this will complement the ambitious work being carried out by the Auckland Castle Trust and Eleven Arches. We’re working closely with them so that Bishop Auckland can make the most of the opportunities offered by Kynren and the planned Welcome Building. New tourism signs, more spaces at Bondgate car park and improvements to the train station will all make the town even more welcoming to new visitors and residents alike.

Plus: 92 residents helped to get back into employment through apprenticeships with local businesses. Etherley Cricket Club given an £8,000 grant to enhance their community cricket programme.

Crook Getting active and moving at any age is now easier than ever thanks to the Parklife sports scheme. Activity sessions, aimed at young and old alike, take place every week at Glenholme Park, where newfound sportsmen and women are trying their hand at tennis, cricket, football, table tennis and even gentle workouts. All activities are led by a qualified coach in outdoor park areas as we’re particularly keen to encourage families to get more active by making more use of the park and recreational grounds. The Parklife programme is delivered in partnership with Sport England and Change4life.

Plus: Shop fronts in Hope Street given a makeover under our Targeted Business Improvement scheme. Almost £1 million is to be spent on improvements at Crook Primary School.


County Durham Masterplans

South and West Durham

Barnard Castle The £3.2 million restoration of The Witham at Barnard Castle has seen the transformation of one of the region’s most historic buildings. The regeneration project, managed by the council, Barnard Castle Vision and The Witham, brought much needed improvements to the Grade II listed Witham Testimonial Hall. The revamped facility now includes the town’s library and Customer Access Point as well as a café, arts and exhibition areas, performance and events spaces, a shop and small business units. The changes even sparked the interest of HRH The Duke of Gloucester. The duke visited the buildings, which date back to 1846, and met the architects and project Plus: team responsible for GlaxoSmithKline set to expand its integrating the operations with a new £92 million facility. historic parts of the building with Five-year Heart of Teesdale Landscape modern structures. Partnership delivered £2.7 million worth of projects.

Shildon A County Durham firm making bespoke drum kits continues to be a big hit – snaring high profile customers from around the world. Among the big-name stars beating a path to Liberty Drums, on the Dabble Duck Industrial Estate, are Coldplay and Nicki Minaj. The order book has swollen by 60 per cent in three years fuelled by industry buzz. Liberty Chief Executive Andrew Street is now aiming to double his workforce to cater for demand. Business Durham, the economic development company for County Durham, worked hard with Andrew to find him new commercial premises after the company outgrew its previous base in Newton Aycliffe. Watch a video about Liberty Drums at

Plus: £9 million private sector investment at Future Durham Business Park. £100,000 project to regenerate the town centre in preparation for a visit from the Flying Scotsman in 2016.


Spennymoor It’s no longer just swings and roundabouts at Ox Close Primary School, where a £1.25m project has been improving children’s play areas. Two new classrooms, a new multi-use games area (MUGA) and an extension of the school’s hall have been built in an improvement project designed and completed by the council. Headteacher Daniel Harrison said: “The new facilities are magnificent and have already enhanced our provision beyond belief. “They allow us the space in which to learn and explore, an area in which we can perform with musicians and artists and the perfect arena in which to hone our widely renowned sporting acumen.”

Plus: £300,000 worth of town centre improvements since 2009.

Newton Aycliffe Ambitious plans to bring up to 3,200 new jobs to Newton Aycliffe’s Forrest Park are well underway. The North East LEP has provided £13 million to give the 52-hectare site, situated alongside the existing Aycliffe Business Park, all the infrastructure it needs to attract new businesses. A new road and pedestrian crossings are among the changes being made to an area which suffers from severe congestion at peak times. The council is carrying out the work – which could ultimately lead to a £140 million investment from the private sector and the scheme is due to be completed by the autumn of 2017.

DurhamGate set for further expansion with additional office space and possibly a car showroom, crèche and café.

Plus: The £82 million Hitachi factory is now well established. Relocation of the library to the leisure centre.

County Durham Masterplans


Green living

✿ ✿

Come and join Litterfree Durham’s

Litterpicks are taking place throughout County Durham and Darlington every day until Sunday 16 April. Get involved: www.durham.gov.uk/bigspringclean

39120 Big Spring Clean advert 2.indd 1

The Big Dig

22/02/2017 11:39

Are you a keen gardener? Groups across County Durham are on the lookout for volunteers to take part in the Big Dig in April. Groups looking for help to prepare community gardens for the growing season include:

• Blackfyne Allotment Association, Blackhill, Consett, 07476 937 121 or des.east@btinternet.com

• Cultivate 4 Life, Bishop Auckland,

fourclockscultivate4life@btconnect.com or 07472 012 121

• Friends of Wharton Park, friendsofwhartonpark@outlook.com • Shildon Alive, Shildon Alive Community Garden, Furnace Ind. Est., 01388 417 600 or 01388 417 474

• The ALT Group, Blackhill, Consett, thealtgrp@gmail.com, 07793 953 899

• Trimdon Community Garden, trimcommgarden@gmail.com Email wasteaware@durham.gov.uk for groups in other areas.

Fortnightly collections from the kerbside Garden between spring and autumn­­­ waste collections Annual fee £25 Terms and conditions apply.

www.durham.gov.uk/gardenwaste 03000 26 1000


Green living

RHS Northumbria in Bloom competition Four council-led entries will take part in this year’s Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Northumbria in Bloom competition. Durham City will compete in the Small City category, Chester-le-Street in the Large Town category and Stanley and Bishop Auckland, with Coundon, in the Town category. www.durham.gov.uk/inbloom

On your marks, get set, grow! Can your community group grow the tallest sunflower or the largest pumpkin? Take part in our summer growing challenge for the chance to win a £100 voucher for gardening equipment. Email wasteaware@durham.gov.uk with your contact details and group name by Monday 10 April and we’ll send you free seeds and more information.

for County Durham

For collections in the Teesdale area, contact Rotters Composting

www.rotters.org 01833 690 022

Easter and May bank holiday bin collections Household bins will be emptied as normal during the Easter holidays (weeks starting 10 and 17 April) and May bank holiday week (Monday 1 May). Place your rubbish, recycling or garden waste bins out for collection by 7am on your usual collection day. To check your collection day, use the ‘My Durham’ section of www.durham.gov.uk

Get composting We’ve teamed up with getcomposting.com to offer exclusive offers on home compost bins. Get a 220 litre bin for £17.98 or a 330 litre bin for £19.98. Or buy two bins and get the second half price. www.getcomposting.com or call 0844 571 4444 quoting DCC11L. Offers valid until 31 March.

Operation Spruce Up We’re working with schools, businesses and partners to clean up main streets in 14 towns and villages across the county. Operation Spruce Up has already seen improvements in Spennymoor, Fencehouses, Framwellgate Moor and Crook, with other areas to follow. Find out more at www.durham.gov.uk/spruceup

Dog control consultation We are working to implement a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) later this year to encourage responsible dog ownership. It follows a consultation last autumn, when we asked for your views on the PSPO, which will replace the current Dog Control Order. Look out for the next edition of Durham County News for more details.

We’re looking for sponsors for our annual Environment Awards, which recognise outstanding environmental projects around the county. For details of the packages available, visit www.countydurhampartnership.co.uk/ envawards or call on 03000 265 545.

Let’s talk rubbish! Schools and community groups can now book a free waste and recycling talk. Sessions last between 20 to 30 minutes and include a presentation showing what can and can’t be recycled, where recycling is taken and what it is made into. They also include information and tips on home composting, reducing food waste and reusing items. Email wasteaware@durham.gov.uk or call 03000 266 102.

Household waste recycling centres From Saturday 1 April, household waste recycling centres will stay open longer for the summer months. Check opening times at www.durham.gov.uk/hwrc or call 03000 26 1000. To apply for a waste permit visit www.durham.gov.uk/ householdpermit Hett Hills household waste recycling centre will be open longer during the busy Easter period. From Friday 14 April until Friday 21 April, it will be open 9am to 6pm. It will return to weekend only opening from Saturday 22 April.

Green living


Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 April Bishop Auckland Food Festival returns this April for two tasty days of food, drink, music and comedy. The festival’s food and drink market will feature lots of familiar faces as well as some exciting new additions, with an expanded street food and artisan drinks quarter. You’ll be able to eat your way around the world from America to Greece and Thailand to Mexico, as well as sample some of the finest regional cuisine, courtesy of the north’s foremost producers. Watch a video about BAFF at


For more information visit

www.bishopauckland foodfestival.co.uk You can also book tickets for masterclasses, children’s sessions and The Big Comedy Feast here. Watch out for details of some very special pop-up venues which will be appearing during the festival.


TV’s Rosemary set to cook up a storm

Sit back and watch the professionals at work at one of the food festival’s many cookery demos.

The inimitable Rosemary Shrager will be in the demonstration kitchen on Saturday using ingredients sourced during a visit to the Taste Durham producers the day before. Rosemary has appeared on TV in many guises; from teaching haute cuisine to the contestants on Ladette to Lady to cooking for her campmates on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! She was recently one of the guests on The Real Marigold Hotel.

Bishop Auckland Food Festival

Tips from the masters

If you’re looking for inspiration and want to flex your cookery muscles, why not try one of our masterclasses? Tom and Henry Herbert from Hobbs House Bakery (and stars of Channel 4’s Fabulous Baker Brothers) will be hosting hands-on sessions where you can learn how to make soda bread and flavoured butter. Or if you fancy making your own lunch the boys will teach you how to make a ‘posh kebab’ from scratch. To get the royal seal of approval for your efforts, join Rob Kennedy. Rob is Executive Chef of the prestigious Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and regularly cooks for the Royal Family and world leaders. He’ll be running four workshops on Saturday – local lamb burgers, perfect roast chicken, grab and go Mexican wraps and delicious desserts. Rob will also be hosting a tasting kitchen on Sunday: part demonstration, part tasting menu, he will create a delicious three-course meal inspired by Durham produce – which you then get to eat.

Lots for little chefs

From masterclasses to exploding rockets, there’s plenty to entertain junior chefs at this year’s festival.

Let your little ones get hands-on at Truly Tempting Chocolate workshops or pizza, bread and biscuit masterclasses. There’s also fantastic Food Lab sessions, complete with exploding rockets and fizzy cocktails! The children’s sessions are always popular so we advise you to book early as they sell out fast.

The Big Comedy Feast Dave Johns, star of BAFTA-winning film I, Daniel Blake, will headline BAFF’s first comedy night. Settle in on Saturday for an evening of stand-up and street food.

tickets to a masterclass We’re giving away two tickets to one of Rob’s masterclasses. For the chance to win, simply tell us which of Rob’s masterclasses you would like to attend. ................................................................................................................

Name .................................................................................................... Tel . . ........................................................................................................ Address ................................................................................................ ................................................................................................................

Postcode .. ............................................................................................ Email ..................................................................................................... See page 2 for entry details. Fill in the form or enter online at www.durham.gov.uk/dcn

A collection of brass-tastic street bands will offer visitors a taster of Durham BRASS Festival, which is set to take place in July.

A taste of BRASS

Across the weekend there will be the chance to hear bands including Mr Wilson’s Second Liners, who won the 2016 ‘Golden Trumpet’ award and festival-favourites Oompah Brass, who will be donning their lederhosen and pairing up with Steam Machine Brewing Company to recreate an Oktoberfest Bier Keller. Newcomers Back Chat Brass will also give their very first Durham performance.

All details correct at time of going to press, please check before travelling.

Bishop Auckland Food Festival


Ben showcases county’s great outdoors A national campaign to promote Durham’s great outdoors is encouraging people to follow in the footsteps of adventurer Ben Fogle. The Visit County Durham campaign features an episode of the online series Ben Fogle’s Great British Adventure, which showcases the exciting outdoor experiences ...showcases the visitors can have during exciting outdoor a break in our area. The video has already had experiences visitors more than 280,000 views.

can have...

As well as showing Ben taking part in a range of activities including gorge-walking at Low Force, mountain biking at Hamsterley Forest and paddle boarding at the Durham Heritage Coast, the film also highlights the county’s stunning scenery and natural attractions. To watch the programme, visit www.thisisdurham.com/outdoors

Visitor numbers… Durham’s visitor economy is looking buoyant with 18.6 million people visiting the county in 2015, up by three per cent on the previous year. The new figures show a vibrant and healthy picture for tourism in the area, with an increase not just in visitor numbers but also in expenditure and the number of people employed in tourism. Visitors to Durham in 2015 spent £777.5 million, a two per cent increase on the previous year, while the number of people employed in tourism in the county stood at 10,961, up by 1.5 per cent on 2014.

VisitEngland/Visit County Durham

Pocket Guide The 2017 edition of the Durham Pocket Guide is now available.

a Durham VIP Pass The Durham VIP Pass offers two people free entry or great discounts to some amazing attractions across the county – and we’ve got five to give away. For the chance to win, simply tell us how many people visited Durham in 2015. ......................................................................................................................................

Name .......................................................................................................................... Tel . . .............................................................................................................................. Address ...................................................................................................................... ....................................................................

Postcode ............................................

Email ............................................................................................................................. See page 2 for entry details. Fill in the form or enter online at www.durham.gov.uk/dcn


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This is Durham, Place of Light

A quarter of a million copies of the official visitor guide have been produced by Visit County Durham. A survey evaluating use of the 2015 edition found that £7 million of additional spending was generated as a result of the publication – an increase of 11.7 per cent on 2011 figures.

Shining a light on Durham

Confidence in the local economy, a thriving cultural scene, the perfect location to call home – just three reasons why Durham is shining brightly. The county, with its new place brand, ‘This is Durham, Place of Light’, is flourishing and according to Cllr Simon Henig, Leader of the Council, “there has never been a more exciting time for the county.” The Place of Light brand has been developed by Visit County Durham, the destination management organisation for the county, core funded by the authority, and is being used as part of the council’s campaign to change perceptions about the county.

providing the confidence and strength they need to grow, supporting the creation of more and better jobs.” In the past three years 20 multinationals, unique and niche companies have invested and re-invested in the county, and over 3,400 businesses have been supported to relocate, set up or expand here; equating to thousands of jobs and generating £187 million for the economy in the last four years.

in Durham City and the expansion of customer contact centre company, ResQ to Seaham, building on success in their first centre in Hull. But it isn’t just the business sector that is being put in the spotlight; Durham is also being showcased as a vibrant destination for visitors and residents alike – the most recent figures show the county attracted 18.6 million visitors in 2015.

Cllr Henig said: “Providing a rich and diverse cultural offer in some of the most unique and spectacular backdrops Following a celebration event at Durham is fast becoming is a key priority for us. We are proud Durham Cathedral at the end of to once again be host this year to a go-to destination... last year, the brand was showcased world class cultural programmes, on a national scale at the House of such as Kynren and the UK’s largest Commons on Monday 6 February. light festival, Lumiere. These events The council has been praised by Over 100 business leaders, industry draw hundreds of thousands of visitors business leaders for its innovative partners and invited guests learned and residents alike, alongside our and supportive approach, alongside more about the brand and the popular annual festivals: Brass, The Business Durham, the economic ambassador stories that illustrate why development company working Durham Book Festival and Bishop Durham is such a unique county. Auckland Food Festival. It is no surprise on behalf of the authority. that with so much to offer, Durham is Cllr Henig said: “We are raising our Recent success stories include the fast becoming a go-to destination for profile globally to show what a great first train to be produced by the many visitors and investors.” place the county is to live, work and Hitachi plant at Newton Aycliffe, invest in. We have a proven track the opening of office space and a For more information please visit record in attracting businesses to business incubator at Salvus House the county and are focused on www.durham.gov.uk/PlaceofLight

Visit County Durham

Watch a video about Place of Light at www.durham.gov.uk/dcn

Shining a light on Durham


A new, free DLI Collection Gallery - Courage, Comrades and Community - is now open at Durham University’s Palace Green Library.

In the heart of the county’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, the new exhibition charts the history of the regiment from its origins as the 68th Regiment of Foot in the 1750s through to its legacy as part of The Rifles today. Curators have drawn on the DLI Collection to tell the story of the Durham soldier and highlight the special place the regiment has in the lives of the people of County Durham. Visitors can ...see objects that see objects that have have never been on never been on display display before... before as well as some favourites from the collection. These include the magnificent Lahore Trades Cup, uniform and medals, a wonderful engraved glass goblet dating from the early nineteenth century and a church window that was handcrafted by DLI soldiers serving overseas.

Images courtesy of Durham County Record Office

The Barker Research Library, on the ground floor of the Palace Green building, also hosts the DLI medal collection. Medals are available to view by making an appointment. This can be done by emailing pg.library@durham.ac.uk, calling 0191 334 2972, or simply popping in during opening hours.

How you can access the DLI Collection The DLI Collection’s objects, including uniforms, weapons, equipment and relics, are based in one place, at the new DLI Research and Study Centre at Sevenhills, near Spennymoor. The centre’s specially designed stores allow for the greater care and conservation of the collection, and give curators the chance to offer public store tours - which is something they couldn’t previously do. Alongside the stores, a new research and study centre – featuring an anti-tank gun manned by Victoria Cross recipient Private Adam Wakenshaw – has been created and makes available over 1,500 periodicals and books to aid study on the regiment, weaponry and dress. The story of the DLI continues to be taken out into the community, with our educational outreach programme last term seeing over 1,200 pupils getting hands on with history. Meanwhile, the DLI archives continue to be cared for and accessible at Durham County Record Office. The archive catalogue is available online, at www.durhamrecordoffice.org.uk, and the website offers a chance to view over 34,500 DLI related images for free.


DLI Collection

Watch a video about the exhibition at


For more information about the DLI Collection visit

www.durham.gov.uk/dlicollection To organise a visit to Sevenhills call 03000 266 631 or email

dlicollectionenquiries@durham.gov.uk Or just follow the signs from the A167 to the DLI Research and Study Centre, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10am-3pm.

Support for parents

Fulfilling Lives People with learning difficulties and their carers can find out about everything from health checks and training to social activities and holidays at a regular get together. The next Fulfilling Lives event takes place at New College, Durham on Monday 29 May between 10am and 5pm.

Top marks for tackling fuel poverty County Durham has been given top marks for its efforts to tackle fuel poverty. The County Durham Health and Wellbeing Board, led by the council, has been given a perfect rating of six out of six by National Energy Action (NEA) in recognition of the action it is taking on cold-related ill health. The board, which is also made up of representatives from local NHS trusts, was one of only 14 in England to achieve the score in NEA’s Get Warm Soon survey, making it one of the top performers nationally.

Changes to gambling policy Following public consultation last summer, changes to the Gambling Act 2005 came in to effect on 7 December 2016. For further information on the changes search Gambling Act at www.durham.gov.uk or call the licensing team on 03000 261 016.

Be a foster carer Across County Durham our foster carers make ordinary moments extraordinary for hundreds of children. Yet we need many more people to come forward to offer loving homes for the increasing number of children in care. Could that be you? Find out more by visiting www.durham.gov.uk/fostering, calling 03000 269 400 or at one of our information events on 16 and 27 March, 20 April and 2 and 18 May.


A support group has been set up for the parents of children with SPD, ASD, ADHD, Down’s, ADD and other challenging conditions. The group, which meets to chat, enjoy refreshments and listen to guest speakers, gets together every six to eight weeks at Tree Tops Children’s Occupational Therapy, in Newton Aycliffe. Meeting times vary in order to accommodate working parents but new members are always welcome. For more information, email spdpsgnee@gmail.com

Slow to 20 A successful scheme to introduce 20mph limits on roads near County Durham schools is to be extended. Part-time limits are to be put in place near a further 33 schools, bringing the total across the county to 66. The project to improve road safety and promote a healthy lifestyle has also seen community newspapers launched at participating schools, an art competition and pedestrian and cycle training. Visit www.durham.gov.uk/slowto20 A swimathon in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care will take place at Freeman’s Quay and Chester-le-Street leisure centres on Saturday 8 April. Visit www.swimathon.org to take part.

Veterans rise and shine East Durham Veterans’ breakfast club is a meeting place for County Durham veterans and serving members of the armed forces. The group meets for a brew and banter every Saturday from 9.30am to 10.30am at The Five Quarter (Wetherspoons) in Peterlee. People can drop-in to any session and there are no fees or subs. Contact robamoore@yahoo.com



MON£Y MATT£RS With the Government continuing to reduce local authority funding for council services, we’re facing increasing financial pressures. However, we are continuing to work hard to protect frontline council services. We have now agreed our Budget and Medium Term Financial Plan for the coming financial year. As a result of the Government’s austerity programme, we need to cut £36 million from our revenue budget in 2017/18. This will form part of the £245 million of savings that need to be made between 2011 and 2020. Despite these financial pressures, we are working hard to provide the highest levels of service across the county. We will continue to focus on our key priorities – encouraging the growth of the economy and redoubling our efforts to make Durham a safe, clean and green place to live. We will also continue to protect those services prioritised by the public, such as job creation and winter maintenance, while also supporting a fully funded capital investment programme.

long as possible. This has only been possible because of our prudent financial planning. As part of the budget, council tax will rise by 1.99 per cent and, in line with the Government’s approach to funding social care, an additional 2 per cent precept will be levied to help cover the cost of providing these services. In 2017/18, we have chosen not to impose the maximum 3 per cent adult social care council tax increase allowed by the Government.

However, we do have to reduce costs and have now identified £23.4 million of savings for 2017/18. In the autumn, we asked for feedback on these plans. Almost 3,500 residents responded, with nearly two thirds backing our proposals. The remainder of the shortfall will be met with £12.6 million from our Budget Support Reserve – allowing us to delay cuts to frontline services for as

While many other councils are increasing this element of the council tax by 3 per cent, we recognise the impact this will have on our council tax payers and we will, therefore, maintain our increase of 2 per cent in line with our Medium Term Financial Plan. We will also be maintaining our Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme, which helps those who would have previously received support under the council tax benefit system. We are one of a small number of

£12.6 million from reserve We need to cut £36 million from our revenue budget in 2017/18. 18

Money Matters

Savings of £23.4 million

Nearly 3,500 businesses across County Durham are set to benefit from lower business rates...

NEWS Spending survey Thousands of people have helped to shape spending plans for their local communities. More than 6,500 residents across the county took part in an online survey asking for their feedback on the key issues and concerns about the area where they live. A further 3,300 young people also had their say by completing the survey through their school or a young people’s group.

councils that have maintained the benefits of this scheme despite Government funding for this area being cut.

Boost for businesses Nearly 3,500 businesses across County Durham are set to benefit from lower business rates over the coming year. New rules affecting how much individual businesses pay in taxes will come into force from April. With complex threshold and rate-relief categories changing, it means firms in County Durham will pay a combined total of £4.3 million less in rates than during the previous financial year. More than 15,000 firms in County Durham pay business rates - currently totalling £125 million.

Their comments will be used to shape spending priorities for the council’s 14 Area Action Partnerships for the coming financial year. This year is the first time a survey has taken place to help set budget priorities and the results will also influence the work of special groups set up to tackle specific issues. Countywide, the top three priorities were: children, young people and families older people health and wellbeing

• • •

Community safety was also deemed a priority among young people, while older voters were concerned about employment, enterprise and training.

Get involved More than 500 people who took part in the main survey expressed an interest in joining their local AAP forum. An additional 350 young people said they would like to know more about a new countywide virtual youth forum, which would give them further opportunities to have their say. If you are interested in becoming a forum member, email aap@durham.gov.uk If you are aged between 11 and 16-years-old and would like to find out more about our virtual forum, email AAPYouth@durham.gov.uk

Money Matters



Cash for cricket club

Call for volunteers Volunteers are needed to help run a busy community centre in Esh Winning. Hamsteels Community Centre opened to the public six months ago, following a campaign to raise nearly £600,000. Activities range from baby yoga and boxercise to arts, crafts and IT. Facebook: HamsteelsCommunityCentre, 0191 447 2332, www.cornsaypc.org.uk

Restoration of Ushaw College gardens The grounds of Ushaw College, in Durham City, look set to get a major makeover. The college’s trustees are hoping to revitalise the formal gardens and parkland by creating a network of wheelchair-accessible paths, wildflower meadows and a garden of contemplation.

Amateur cricketers have been bowled over after receiving cash for improvements to their ground. A £5,000 grant has enabled members of Horden Cricket Club to buy a new scoreboard and pavilion clock.

North Road update Work has uncovered an old, reinforced concrete road below the surface of the street as well as six coal chutes outside of the former cinema building and this has resulted in the improvements taking longer than expected. Extra resources have been put in place for the project, both during the day and overnight, in order to minimise any delay. Work is now due to be finished in May. www.durham.gov.uk/northroad

An estimated £20,000 is needed for the project, with local councillors having already contributed £13,000.

High praise for charity A Durham City charity has been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. Veterans at Ease helps people overcome their traumas of war and in the last five years over 150 veterans have accessed its services. The award is the highest accolade a voluntary group can receive in the UK. 20

New homes for newts Frogs, toads and newts are settling into new homes at Easington Local Nature Reserve, thanks to funding from Northumbrian Water. Cash was awarded to Easington Colliery Regeneration Partnership to improve two ponds at the site and create special underground homes for the amphibians.

It’s Up 2U Five community groups are celebrating after receiving a share of a £40,000 cash pot. Fishburn Academy Band, St Albans Luncheon Club, Fishburn Allotment Association, Future Leisure in Coxhoe, and Fishburn Youth and Community Centre were the successful projects in East Durham Rural Corridor AAP’s latest It’s Up 2U voting event.

Central and East Durham news

Langley Moor

housing development A new development providing apartments for people with sight loss or hearing loss is set to open in Langley Moor. The scheme will include one and two-bedroom properties close to shops, amenities and public transport routes. The site is being built by Rae Bro Developers, who are working with Reside Housing Association and County Durham Sensory Support Team. Call 03000 263 940.

NORTH Durham Lottery boost for Burnhope Plans for a new community centre in Burnhope have been boosted with a £529,000 lottery grant. The Big Lottery Fund Reaching Communities programme has awarded the cash to Burnhope Community Centre Committee, which is now well on its way to achieving its fundraising target of £720,000. Additional funding has been provided by Mid Durham AAP and local councillors. More than 30 people have already volunteered to help run the centre, which will provide much-needed community facilities for the village.

Advice in Stanley Advice on issues ranging from debt and money management to benefit claims and housing problems is now available at The Venue, in Stanley. Sessions are run by the Advice in Durham Partnership and supported by Stanley AAP and Stanley Town Council. Services are available:

• Citizens Advice County Durham Tues and Thurs 10am-4pm.

• Welfare Rights

Wed morning for drop-in advice and afternoon for appointments.

• Foodbank

Mon, Wed and Fri 10am-12pm.

• Durham Money Advice Centre Mon, Wed and Fri 9am-12pm.

Wildlife boost New wildlife habitats are being created through a project to improve water quality at Twizell Burn in Stanley. The Living Waterways initiative, led by the Wear Rivers Trust and supported by Stanley AAP, aims to improve the ecological quality of the burn and surrounding woodland. Local residents and schools are encouraged to get involved. 01388 488 867 admin@wear-rivers-trust.org.uk

Hang up on fraud A new project is helping older people ‘hang up’ on telephone fraudsters. Beat the Scammers, led by Age UK County Durham and supported by Stanley AAP, aims to prevent older and vulnerable people becoming victims of crime. For info 0191 374 6568 bts@ageukcountydurham.org.uk

Businesses Go for Growth in 2017 Support and expert mentoring for small businesses is available through Derwentside Business Network (DBN). DBN, which is supported by Derwent Valley AAP, runs monthly networking meetings and a hugely successful Business Growth Skills Academy and is planning an exhibition and Celebration of Achievement event this year. For more details visit www.derwentsidebusinessnetwork.co.uk

Code Clubs in the Derwent Valley Children in the Derwent Valley area are learning basic computer programming at after-school Code Clubs. Pupils at ten primary schools spend one hour a week designing games, animations and websites at the sessions, which are funded by Derwent Valley AAP.

Chester’s Best A new award scheme will recognise those who make the Chester-le-Street area a better and brighter place to live and work. The Chester’s Best Awards, supported by Chester-le-Street and District AAP, will honour individuals and communities who have carried out environmental improvements, with honours including best garden or yard, best allotment, best neighbourhood area, best group project and best business frontage. Entries are open until Friday 19 May. civicpride@durham.gov.uk

North Durham news


SOUTH and WEST Durham New library is open for business Newton Aycliffe Library has reopened to the public with a new look in a new location. The library’s new base, within the town’s leisure centre on Beveridge Way, includes sections for teenagers and children, a study area and updated computer facilities. It also offers a wide selection of current and classic titles as well as ebooks and emags. Free wifi is available throughout the building. The move from the library’s former base is part of a wider £1 million scheme we are carrying out to help regenerate the town centre.

Fitness Friends An exercise class set up by jobseekers in Newton Aycliffe is celebrating its first year of success. The Wellbeing for Life Fitness Friends group was established by people who met while attending Employability Pitstop drop-ins funded by Great Aycliffe and Middridge Partnership (GAMP). They now meet every Wednesday at the Pioneering Care Centre to chat and exercise. Anyone is welcome to join. Contact enquiries@pcp.uk.net or 01325 321 234.

Cash boost for new IT kit A centre that offers IT classes for the over-50s and the unemployed has received £1,600 to update its computer equipment.

Bishop Auckland improvements – update A scheme to improve links between Bishop Auckland Market Place and Auckland Castle is now well underway. Yorkstone paving has been installed on footpaths in the market place and on the approach to the castle, while north and southbound traffic can now pass through the market place following the completion of carriageway improvements. www.durham.gov.uk/bishopworks


South and West Durham news

People who attend the classes at Spennymoor Settlement are given tips on using the internet to contact friends and family, shop safely and book services such as medical appointments. They can also learn how to make payments online, write a CV and search and apply for jobs. Local councillors have donated £1,200 to enable the centre to buy new computer equipment.

Watch your speed Speeding motorists are the target of a new initiative in the Great Aycliffe and Middridge Partnership area. The partnership has bought an electronic sign, which warns drivers of the speed limit. It will be used at six locations around the GAMP area.

Help for jobseekers Two dozen people in the Spennymoor AAP area have received financial help to top up their skills and qualifications. The group received a share of a £20,000 pot made available to pay for training to help unemployed people get back into work. The Employability Skills and Discretionary Fund, is managed by Bishop Auckland College, and funded by Spennymoor AAP. Contact denise.hopps@bacoll.ac.uk or 01388 443 078.

People’s Garden A new community garden is providing a safe place for people living with dementia and their families to relax and enjoy the great outdoors. The People’s Garden at the Hub, in Barnard Castle, is fully accessible and features raised planters, a summer house and poly tunnel. It has been created by the Veg Out in Barney project, which is supported by Teesdale AAP. Local firms have also provided equipment and their time for free. For more information, contact Ann Barmby on 01833 630 812.

a stay at Ramside Hall Hotel Chase away those winter blues and step into spring with a fabulous one night stay at Durham’s own Ramside Hall Hotel, Golf and Spa. Relax by the pool – or should we say pools – and simply let the stresses of everyday life pass you by. One lucky winner and their guest will enjoy an overnight stay at the luxury hotel with a hearty breakfast the following day, with full use of the spa throughout. And that’s not all – there’s also a £50 voucher which you can use to dine at either the Fusion Asian restaurant or the acclaimed Rib Room. Further details about the hotel are available at www.ramsidehallhotel.co.uk and www.ramsidespa.co.uk For the chance to win, tell us how many bedrooms there are at Ramside Hall. .. ......................................................................................

Name ............................................................................ Tel . . ................................................................................ Address ........................................................................ ........................................................................................

Fighting loneliness The Buddies Befriending Service, funded by Great Aycliffe and Middridge Partnership, is helping dozens of older people overcome loneliness. It offers the over-50s the chance to get out and about and form new friendships. Find out more 01325 329 933 or buddies@pcp.uk.net


Postcode .. .................................................................... Email ............................................................................. See page 2 for entry details. Fill in the form or enter online at www.durham.gov.uk/dcn Tick here to receive further information about Ramside Hall:

South and West Durham news


Park life! People in many parts of Britain might be green with envy at what’s on offer in County Durham’s parks.

Play! Top priority for our younger visitors! There are few things better than whizzing round on a roundabout or kicking your feet in the air on a swing. Even a few grown-ups secretly want a go! As an example of the various revamps taking place, Annfield Plain in Park Close, Stanley has seen the installation of two types of swings for older and younger children, a roundabout with wheelchair access and two multi-use play units.

Walk or run A simple pleasure, that’s free and keeps you fit. Pick any one of our many parks to keep active at whatever pace suits you best. Public parks in Britain have been around for more than 170-years, and walking in them is one of our favourite ways to spend time.

With longer days and warmer weather fast approaching, what better way to start blowing away those winter cobwebs than by visiting your local park? County Durham boasts some truly stunning green spaces, offering everything from beautiful grounds to brand new play equipment. More than £1.75 million is currently being spent revamping swings, slides, climbing frames and other attractions, putting a smile on the faces of children and parents. So whether it’s exercise, peace and quiet or practising your latest moves at a brand new skate park, there’s something for everyone. Here’s our guide to just ten of the things you can do to brighten your day in parks across County Durham.


Park life!

Skateboarding If you are looking for something to set the pulse racing a little bit faster, then pop along to Consett’s new £85,000 skate park. Opened in September last year, it’s at the Consett Academy and Leisure Centre – with the skateboarders themselves advising on the design.

Children’s car track Wharton Park has its own mini grand prix circuit, where budding Lewis Hamiltons can race and chase safely. Our mini racing cars are available every day between 1pm and 4.30pm, weather permitting, with the cars being suitable for children aged between three and 10-years-old – and it’s only £1 a go.

Coffee and cake


A favourite among the grown-ups. Many of our parks have somewhere you can grab a cuppa or a cool drink, along with something to nibble on.

A game synonymous with carefully cared for lawns and whiling away a lovely summer’s day. There are lots of bowling greens to choose from – including Bishop Auckland town recreation ground, which features a bowling green, four tennis courts, football pitch, play equipment and a BMX and skateboard park.

Nature If flowers, trees and wildlife are more your thing, then our parks are sure to have something to offer. We might not have elephants or tigers roaming around – but bugs, birds and the occasional squirrel are just as fascinating. At View Park, Stanley, you can also enjoy some striking timber and stone structures – including a giant wooden acorn!

Spying No. Seriously. Potential James and Jane Bonds can learn what makes a great secret agent at Hardwick Park, Sedgefield. It’s just one of a number of activities, supervised by adults, making use of the surroundings in a fun and imaginative way. There are also toddler trails and tales, and a wood club.

and finally...

Celebrate our heritage What better way to spend a relaxing afternoon than lounging in a deckchair listening to live music? Blackhill and Consett Park has its own replica Victorian bandstand, where colliery bands pay tribute to the county’s heritage during regular summer concerts. Located in the Blackhill conservation area, the park also boasts cultivated lawns, decorative beds and borders, woodland areas and an original Victorian fountain.


Muddy Mayhem returns to Hardwick Park on Sunday 1 October. As the name suggests, it’s a fun obstacle course with lots and lots of mud. Competitors run – or maybe slog – their way around either a 5K or 10K course negotiating everything from cargo nets to climbing walls and tunnels. Whether you loved it the last time or are looking for a new challenge, it’s a great way to test your stamina, agility and strength – or just to have a laugh with your mates. Early timeslots, which are popular with our most competitive runners (and those who don’t want to get as muddy) are already filling up fast. Choosing your timeslot as soon as possible is also the best way of ensuring you can take part in the same wave as your friends. Runners must be aged 16 or over to enter and have a reasonable level of fitness. Apply at www.durham.gov.uk/muddymayhem

Park life!


Out and about

A Gala Theatre Production

by Willy Russell Directed by Rebecca Frecknall

May 2017 to April 2018

Ps Project Locations around the county Tuesday 4 to Saturday 8 April

Educating Rita Gala Theatre, Durham This Gala-produced version of Willy Russell’s award-winning play follows last year’s critically acclaimed The Fighting Bradfords¸ which was the venue’s first theatre production outside of its pantomime for six years. Hairdresser Rita is unhappy in her job and signs up for an Open University course in English Literature, where she forms an unlikely bond with her tutor, Frank, a middle-aged, alcoholic academic. Intelligent, funny, and as relevant today as it was when it was written in 1980, Educating Rita is a modern classic. www.galadurham.co.uk 03000 266 600

We’re taking sculpture out into the community this summer with an intriguing mobile artwork. Louise Plant’s Ps Project features numerous standalone cast iron sculptures which are arranged differently depending on their surroundings. Each P is intended to embody a sense of freedom and adventure. Together, they examine how we interact and make relationships. Over the next year, the Ps Project will be available to view in four locations around the county – Nose’s Point in Seaham; Wharton Park in Durham; Bishop Auckland and Hamsterley Forest. We’ll be working with schools in each of these areas to deliver drama and dance workshops linked to the Ps Project and there will also be a film telling the story of the Ps being cast at a foundry in Halifax and delivered to the four locations.

May (dates to be confirmed)

Pearl Izumi Durham City The Tour Series returns to Durham City in 2017 for its ninth season. The unique team-based cycle race takes place at ten locations around the country, with Britain’s fastest teams once again set to take on the thrills and spills of Durham’s cobbles in May. Join the crowds to cheer on the professionals during a test of their skill and speed. Keep up to date with all the latest Tour Series news on Facebook and Twitter or visit www.tourseries.co.uk

Killhope Lead Mining Museum Killhope reopens to the public on Saturday 1 April following its regular winter shutdown. Bell MT bold

Famous for its iconic working waterwheel, the museum also offers visitors the chance to take a trip down a Victorian lead mine, explore stunning landscapes and even stay overnight in a yurt. www.killhope.org.uk


Out and about


Saturday 8 to Sunday 23 April Easter holiday fun Down at the Farm, Houghton-le-Spring Bottle-feed the lambs, hold a chick and enter the Easter egg decorating competition. 10am-5pm. A £5.75, C £6.25. 0191 5841 873, www.downatthefarm.co.uk Monday 10 to Thursday 13 and Tuesday 18 to Saturday 22 April (excludes Wednesdays) Children’s craft drop-in Chester-le-Street Library 10am-12pm. Free. 03000 269 512, chesterlest.lib@durham.gov.uk Tuesday 11 April Egg decorating workshop The Witham, Barnard Castle 10.30am-12pm. 01833 631 107, info@thewitham.org.uk Saturday 15 April Easter Extravaganza Bowlees Visitor Centre, Newbiggin Face-painting, bunny trail, egg-decorating, mask-making. 11am-3.30pm. C £5. www.visitbowlees.org.uk

t h n i o s ’ s E AS T ER ! t a h

The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle Monday 10 April Felting Easter eggs Create a colourful 2D Easter egg. 10.30am-12pm. Age 5+ C £4.50. Booking essential. Tuesday 11 to Thursday 13 April Easter crafts 10.30am-12pm and 1.30pm-3pm. C £4. Booking essential. Friday 14 April Easter extravaganza – Family Fun Day Make an Easter basket, create a card, decorate an Easter bunny pot and follow an Easter trail. 11am-4pm. Included in admission. 01833 690 606 www.thebowes museum.org.uk

Easter fun at Locomotion: the National Railway Museum at Shildon Saturday 8 to Sunday 23 April

FREE family learning trail Osaka Trains and the story of Japan's global gateway city explores how Osaka's rail companies helped to make Osaka a world powerhouse city. Pick up a free trail sheet and follow the clues to learn more about the history of Osaka's train companies - and the famous Shinkansen. Friday 14 to Monday 17 April

Easter Fun activity packs Suitable for children aged 4-11. £1.

Price key: A = Adult; Con = Concession; C = Child; F = Family.

Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 April Easter at Wharton Wharton Park, Durham Mobile animal farm, egg hunt, music performances and crafts. 11am-5pm. C £4, adults and under 3s free. 03000 262 655, www.durham.gov.uk/whartonpark Saturday 15 to Monday 17 April Easter activities Raby Castle Easter trail, crafts and outdoor activities. 11am-5pm. A £7, C £3. 01833 660 202, www.rabycastle.com Sunday 16 April to Monday 17 April Easter activities Crook Hall and Gardens, Durham 10am-5pm. Included in admission. 0191 384 8028.

Junior Activity Camp Monday 10 April – Teesdale Leisure Centre Tuesday 11 April – Shildon Sunnydale Leisure Centre Wednesday 12 April – Meadowfield Leisure Centre Easter crafts, egg hunt, bouncy castle and soft play for children aged 5-11. 9am-4pm. £20.

Junior Sports Camp Tuesday 18 April – Shildon Sunnydale Leisure Centre Wednesday 19 April – Meadowfield Leisure Centre Thursday 20 April – Teesdale Leisure Centre Multi-sports, dance, fun and games for children aged 5-11. 1pm-3pm. £4.

What’s on


March to May


Until Saturday 1 April Shop Shape – East Durham Artists’ Network The Art Block, Church Street, Seaham Exhibition highlighting the history, architecture, proprietors and customers of Seaham’s shops. Mon-Fri 11am-3pm, Sat 12pm-4pm. Free. Facebook: East Durham Artists’ Network Until Saturday 10 June Open Treasure – Beasts! Durham Cathedral Discover a world of weird and wonderful beasts and monsters. £2.50-£7.50. www.durhamcathedral.co.uk/open-treasure

Saturday 18 March Tunes from Teesdale Newbiggin Chapel, near Middleton-in-Teesdale Concert by youth folk band Cream Tees to mark the closure of the oldest Methodist chapel in continuous use in the world. 2.30pm. £5. 01833 638 263, neil@ndiment.co.uk Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 March Traditional Crafts Weekend Durham University Botanic Garden Demonstration by silversmith Les Howe, and his wife Vivienne, an artist and card designer, 10am-4pm. A £4, Con £3, C £1.50. botanic.garden@durham.ac.uk

Until Saturday 25 March A Dream of the Sea The Witham, Barnard Castle Exhibition offering an escape to the sea. 10am-4pm. Free. 01833 631 107, info@thewitham.org.uk

Sunday 26 March Robots in Space! North Pennines Observatory, Allenheads Family-friendly talk about the latest developments in space-age technology. 5pm-8pm. A £5, Con £2, F £10. Booking essential. 01388 528 801, www.northpennines.org.uk

Wednesday 22 March Lanchester Flower Club Lanchester Community Centre, Newbiggin Lane Flotsam and jetsam-themed demo by Lucy Smith-Richmond. 2pm. Non-members £4.

Sunday 26 March Bushcraft Essential Survival Skills Hamsterley Forest Learn the basics for survival in a forest environment. 9.30am-4.30pm. Age 16+. £25. Booking essential. 01388 529 154, www.natureholiday.co.uk

Saturday 25 March 50-50 Dance Castleside Village Hall, near Consett Old time and modern dancing with music by Alan Chandler. 8pm-11.30pm. £5.

Sunday 26 March to Saturday 1 April Natural Causes City Theatre, Durham Black comedy presented by Durham Dramatic Society. Sun 2.30pm, Mon-Sat 7.30pm. £7.50. 03000 266 600

Monday 20 March Sedgefield Family History Group Ceddesfeld Hall, Sedgefield Talk on Skinningrove social history and development due to ironstone mining and iron production. 7.15pm. Non-members £1. sedgefieldfhs@googlemail.com

Saturday 25 March Archaeology Open Day Wynch Bridge End Cottage Start at Bowlees Visitor Centre for an easy 1km, 20-minute walk looking at archaeological remains. 11am-3pm. 01833 622 374, Emma.King@naturalengland.org.uk

Wednesday 29 March to Sunday 2 April Old King Coal Beamish Museum Join banner parades and enjoy performances by local brass bands. 10am-5pm. 0191 370 4000, www.beamish.org.uk/whats-on

Tuesday 21 to Saturday 25 March Carousel Gala Theatre, Durham Rodgers and Hammerstein’s masterpiece presented by Durham Musical Theatre Company. 7pm, matinees at 2pm on Wednesday and Saturday. £17-£18.50. 03000 266 600, www.galadurham.co.uk

Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 March Fantazmagoria Locomotion, the National Railway Museum at Shildon Steampunk and sci-fi displays, demonstrations and trade stands. 10am-4pm. Free. 01388 777 999, www.nrm.org.uk/locomotion

Saturday 1 April Wildlife Watch – Pond-dipping Low Barns Nature Reserve, Witton-le-Wear Learn about the life cycle of mini beasts and take part in a river fly survey. 10am-12pm. £1 per child. 0191 584 3112, www.durhamwt.com


What’s on

Price key: A = Adult; Con = Concession; C = Child; F = Family.

Saturday 1 April Comedy Night with Gavin Webster Alun Armstrong Theatre, Civic Hall Stanley North East comedian. 7.30pm. £10. 01207 299 110, www.civichallstanley.co.uk

Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 April Mighty Wurlitzer The New Victoria Centre, Howden-le-Wear John Mann in concert on Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 2.30pm. £8. 01388 762 467, www.netoa.org.uk

Monday 3 April Dark Skies Star Gazing Harehope Quarry, Frosterley Explore the wonders of the night sky. 8.30pm-10pm. £5, F £15. 01388 529154, www.natureholiday.co.uk Tuesday 4 April to Saturday 6 May Cells and Bio-Medicine The Art Block, Church Street, Seaham Works inspired by the microscopic world. Mon-Fri 11am-3pm, Sat 12pm4pm. Free. Facebook: East Durham Artists’ Network Thursday 6 to Sunday 9 April Great North Steam Fair Beamish Museum Amazing line-up of visiting vehicles from motorcycles to steam lorries. 10am-5pm. 0191 370 4000, www.beamish.org.uk/whats-on Friday 7 April Ladies lunch in aid of St Cuthbert’s Hospice Ramside Hall Hotel, Durham Three-course lunch, stalls, talk and entertainment. 11am-3pm. £36. 0191 386 1170 Saturday 8 April Durham Singers – The Night in the Garden Ushaw College, Durham Choral music for Holy Week, including Allegri’s Miserere. 7.30pm. £12. www.durham-singers.org or 07790 148 062

Tuesday 11 April Family Pond Dipping and Wild Sculptures Low Barns Nature Reserve, Witton-le-Wear Find the elusive water scorpion, learn how water beetles breathe and create some wild sculptures. 1pm-3pm. £3 per child. 0191 584 3112, www.durhamwt.com Wednesday 12 April Taste, Touch and Texture Bowlees Visitor Centre Explore textures and patterns in nature during a half-mile walk. 11am-3.30pm. C £3. www.visitbowlees.org.uk

Saturday 8 April to Sunday 9 July Painting the Theatre: Garrick in Action The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle A celebration of actor David Garrick, marking the 300th anniversary of his birth. 01833 690 606, www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk Saturday 8 to Monday 17 April The North’s Premier Charity Book Sale Pemberton Rooms, Palace Green, Durham 10,000 new and used books, including fiction and children’s books. In aid of Durham Palestine Educational Trust. 10am-4pm. Free. www.dur.ac.uk/durham.palestine/ Sunday 9 April Northern Bygones Rally Locomotion, the National Railway Museum at Shildon Classic and vintage vehicles. 10am-4pm. Free. 01388 777 999, www.nrm.org.uk/locomotion Sunday 9 April to Tuesday 11 April Pirates & Princesses Crook Hall and Gardens, Durham Pirate and princess fun for little ones. 10am-5pm. Included in admission. 0191 384 8028

Price key: A = Adult; Con = Concession; C = Child; F = Family.

Wednesday 12 and Wednesday 19 April Family Roller Disco Spectrum Leisure Centre, Willington 2pm-3.30pm. £3. 01388 747 000, slam@slamcdt.co.uk Wednesday 12 April, Friday 5 and Wednesday 10 May Derwent Valley Flower Club Denecourt Communal Room, Hamsterley Friendship and Fun with Flowers themed session. 2pm. £4. 01207 505 576 Thursday 13 April Alice in Wonderland Alun Armstrong Theatre, Civic Hall Stanley Family musical brimming with nonsensical fun and excitement for the whole family. 2.30pm. £12/£10. 01207 299 110, www.civichallstanley.co.uk Thursday 13 and Thursday 20 April Bouncy castle and soft play Spectrum Leisure Centre, Willington 2pm-3.30pm. £3. 01388 747 000, slam@slamcdt.co.uk Friday 14 April Champions of Magic Gala Theatre, Durham World class illusionists present a night of magic. 7.30pm. £20 Con £17. 03000 266 600, www.galadurham.co.uk

What’s on


WHAT’S ON Saturday 15 April Rob Rouse – Are You Sitting Comfortably? The Witham, Barnard Castle Funny Way To Be Comedy presents one of comedy’s most lively and loveable performers. 8pm. 16+. £14. 01833 631 107, www.thewitham.org.uk Monday 17 April Sedgefield Family History Group Ceddesfeld Hall, Sedgefield Talk on The Langworthy Mystery. 7.15pm. Non-members £1. sedgefieldfhs@googlemail.com Wednesday 19 April Slugs, Snails and Tall Tales Bowlees Visitor Centre, Newbiggin Author Teresa Dewhirst reads from her Slug adventures during a troll trail. 11am-3.30pm. C £3. www.visitbowlees.org.uk Thursday 20 April Dunelm Flower Club Durham High School for Girls, Durham All Creatures Great and Small by Kate Kerr. 7.30pm. Visitors welcome, £5. Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 April Horses at Work Beamish Museum Ponies, carriage horses, heavy horses and a cavalry display. 10am-5pm. 0191 370 4000, www.beamish.org.uk/whats-on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 April World Heritage Weekend Durham Cathedral Celebrate World Heritage Day with family activities. www.durhamwhs.com Saturday 22 April and Saturday 6 May Black Grouse Morning Langdon Beck Observe the weird and wonderful behaviour of the rare black grouse during their courtship displays. 5am- 9am. £25. Booking essential. 01833 622 374, Emma.King@naturalengland.org.uk


What’s on

Monday 24 to Friday 28 April Chester-le-Street Art Society Exhibition Chester-le-Street Library 03000 269 512, chesterlest.lib@durham.gov.uk Wednesday 26 April Garden tour Crook Hall and Gardens, Durham Take a tour with the hall’s head gardener. 2pm. Included in admission. 0191 384 8028 Wednesday 26 April Lanchester Flower Club Lanchester Community Centre, Newbiggin Lane Time Flies themed demonstration by Katie-Jane Pridmore. 2pm. Non-members £4. Thursday 27 April Drawing workshop The Witham, Barnard Castle Using soft pastels to create landscapes. 10.30am-3.30pm. £57. 01833 631 107, info@thewitham.org.uk Friday 28 April Peter Donegan Alun Armstrong Theatre, Civic Hall Stanley Music and stories from the son of the late Lonnie Donegan. 7.00pm. £15/£13. 01207 299 110, www.civichallstanley.co.uk Saturday 29 April 50-50 Dance Castleside Village Hall, near Consett Old time and modern dancing with music by Lynne Valley Duo. 8pm-11.30pm. £5. Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 April Northumbria Basketry Group 10th anniversary celebration Durham Dales Centre Weaving Our History exhibition, demonstrations and workshops. 10.30am-4pm. info@northumbriabasketrygroup.co.uk

Saturday 29 April to Monday 1 May Spring Toy Fair Locomotion, the National Railway Museum at Shildon Trade stands offering railway modelling, die cast, collectables and more. 10am-4pm. Free. 01388 777 999, www.nrm.org.uk/locomotion Sunday 30 April North East Early Music Forum Performing Day The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle Early music from the medieval to the baroque period. 12pm-4pm. 01833 690 606, www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk Sunday 30 April Mighty Wurlitzer The New Victoria Centre, Howden-le-Wear The New Vic All Stars in concert. 2.30pm. £8 including cream tea. Booking essential. £3 on the door with tea/coffee only. 01388 601 596, frdthompson0@gmail.com

Sunday 30 April and Monday 1 May May Day Celebrations Beamish Museum Parades, music, Maypole dancing and headdress making. 10am-5pm. 0191 370 4000, www.beamish.org.uk/whats-on Sunday 30 April and Monday 1 May Mary Poppins Crook Hall and Gardens, Durham Mary Poppins-themed fun. 10am-5pm. Included in admission. 0191 384 8028

Price key: A = Adult; Con = Concession; C = Child; F = Family.

Sunday 30 April and Saturday 13 May Treasures of Widdybank Fell Cow Green Reservoir Guided walk along the Nature Trail at Widdybank Fell. 2pm-5pm. 01833 622 374, Emma.King@naturalengland.org.uk Monday 1 May Hannah James – Jig Doll The Witham, Barnard Castle A combination of clogs and folk music. £12 advance. 01833 631 107, info@thewitham.org.uk Thursday 4 May Squabbling, Babbling, Feeling: What did Exile do to Early Modern Catholics from Britain and Ireland? Ushaw College, Durham Public lecture. 6pm. Free. Booking preferred. 0191 334 1656 Thursday 4 to Wednesday 31 May Antinomies by Helen Winthorpe Kendrick Greenfield Arts, Newton Aycliffe Art exhibition exploring juxtapositions. Mon-Thurs 10am-9pm, Fri 10am-4pm. info@greenfield-arts.co.uk Saturday 6 May Non-Native Invaders Low Barns Nature Reserve, Witton-le-Wear Learn about non-native invaders in the UK and help with some Himalayan balsam bashing. 10am-12pm. C £1. 0191 584 3112, www.durhamwt.com Sunday 7 May Photography workshop – Water and its moods Bowlees Visitor Centre, Newbiggin Hints and tips for capturing on camera the waterfalls of Low Force. 10am-4pm. £90. www.goingdigital.co.uk Until Sunday 7 May Only in England The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle Exhibition of photographs by Tony Ray-Jones documenting England in the late 1960s. 01833 690 606, www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk

Monday 8 May Beginner Ukulele Classes Alington House, Durham 10-week ukulele course. 6.15pm-7.15pm. £54. Booking required. 07939 166 806 Wednesday 10 to Friday 12 May Musicals from Around the World Park View Community Theatre, Chester-le-Street Riverside Musical Theatre Company performs hits from the musicals. 7.15pm. £9 Wed, £10 Thurs and Fri. 0191 385 7500, www.ticketsource.co.uk/rmtc Friday 12 May Jason Cook Scarth Hall, Staindrop Funny Way To Be Comedy presents Hebburn star and writer Jason Cook supported by Steffen Peddie. 8pm. 16+. £10/£12. 01833 650 930. Saturday 13 May History Walk Durham Cathedral woodlands and riverbanks Guided tour of the cathedral’s historic woodlands and riverbanks. 10.30am-12.00pm. £3. Booking essential. 0191 386 4266, events@durhamcathedral.co.uk Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 May Meccano Exhibition Beamish Museum Working models and construction sets dating from the early 1900s. 10am-5pm. 0191 370 4000, www.beamish.org.uk/whats-on Sunday 14 May Mighty Wurlitzer The New Victoria Centre, Howden-le-Wear Jean Martyn in concert. 2.30pm. £8. 01388 762 467, www.netoa.org.uk

Price key: A = Adult; Con = Concession; C = Child; F = Family.

Thursday 18 May Dunelm Flower Club Durham High School for Girls, Durham Incredible India by Elaine Bedford. 7.30pm. Visitors welcome, £5. Friday 19 May Lanchester Flower Club Lanchester Community Centre, Newbiggin Lane A Night to Remember themed demonstration by Anne Codd. 7pm. £7. 01207 503 667

family tickets for Beamish World-famous open air museum Beamish tells the story of life in North East England during the 1820s, 1900s and 1940s. We’ve joined forces with them to give away two family day tickets. Each ticket admits four people and is valid until the end of October. For a chance to win, answer the question below. Beamish brought its railway station stone by stone to rebuild at the museum. Where from? ...............................................................................

Name ................................................................... Tel . . ....................................................................... Address ............................................................... ...............................................................................

Postcode .. ........................................................... Email .................................................................... See page 2 for entry details. Fill in the form or enter online at www.durham.gov.uk/dcn Tick here to receive further information about Beamish:

What’s on


New car... mortgage... mobile phone..? Being on the Electoral Register*

can help if you need to apply for credit. www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Register by 13 April

to take part in the local elections on Thursday 4th May.

www.durham.gov.uk/elections *If you have recently moved house, you will need to re-register – it’s not done automatically.

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DCC Durham County News Spring 2017  

DCC Durham County News Spring 2017