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News from Peterlee, Seaham, Hordon, Easington, Hartlepool, Blackhall, Wingate and the wider East Durham area

Easington born TV presenter backs single use plastic pledge

Easington born TV presenter backs single use plastic pledge

A County Durham born television presenter with a passion for the countryside has become the latest to sign a pledge promising to try and eradicate single use plastics. Matt Baker, from BBC’s The One Show, has signed the County Durham Single Use Plastic Pledge, and now...

Affordable homes open day comes to Wheatley Hill

Affordable homes open day comes to Wheatley Hill

Two open days for low-cost homes are set to hit the villages of Wheatley Hill and Coundon during June. believe housing is opening the doors to properties in both villages to highlight the variety of affordable homes available immediately in both areas. In Wheatley...

Underused sports hall in Trimdon turned into community events venue

Underused sports hall in Trimdon turned into community events venue

A tired and underused sports hall has been transformed into a high-class community events venue, thanks to funding from one of Durham’s 14 area action partnerships (AAP). East Durham Rural Corridor AAP and county councillors in Trimdon and Thornley were keen to help...

County Durham Plan set for approval

County Durham Plan set for approval

The final stage of a plan that sets out how much development and where it is needed in County Durham will go before councillors next week. Durham County Council’s Cabinet will be asked to recommend that full council approve the submission of the County Durham Plan...

College announces launch of Lee Stafford Hairdressing Academy

College announces launch of Lee Stafford Hairdressing Academy

East Durham College is thrilled to announce an exciting partnership with Lee Stafford Education, bringing new opportunities for hairdressing students in the North East. Launching in September 2019, the Lee Stafford Academy will be open to both learners age 16-18, and...

One week left to apply for council apprenticeships

One week left to apply for council apprenticeships

People looking to change or kickstart their career have less than a week left to apply for a range of exciting apprenticeships with Durham County Council. The council is currently recruiting to a wide range of vacancies, due to start in September, and is welcoming...

Businesses give backing to Seaham Food Festival

Businesses give backing to Seaham Food Festival

Businesses in Seaham are backing a new food festival which is set to attract thousands of people to the seaside town this weekend. Seaham Food Festival will serve up more than 100 food and drink stalls, cookery demonstrations by celebrity chefs and a tempting mixture...

Trimdon and Thornley councillor gets on his bike for charity

Trimdon and Thornley councillor gets on his bike for charity

A county councillor and committed cyclist is once again getting on his bike to raise money for charity, with his hardest challenge yet. Councillor for Trimdon and Thornley, Cllr Peter Brookes, will cover 500 miles over four days, all on two wheels, to raise money for...

County Durham second least frustrating place in the UK for motorists

County Durham second least frustrating place in the UK for motorists

County Durham is the second least frustrating place to drive in the UK, according to a recent survey. Vehicle finance provider Moneybarn has standardised the latest data available across 47 regions* for key driver annoyances including the number of speed cameras,...

Council announces the appointment of its youngest ever chairman

Council announces the appointment of its youngest ever chairman

A 27-year-old who was born and raised in County Durham has become the youngest person to be elected as Chairman of the area’s local authority. Cllr Katie Corrigan was officially installed as Chairman at Durham County Council’s Annual Meeting and is the youngest...

Work starts on new £10.5m raillway station in Horden

Work starts on new £10.5m raillway station in Horden

Work is now underway on a new £10.55 million railway station which is expected to bring an economic boost to east Durham. The scheme, at Horden, near Peterlee, will link the area into the local, regional and national rail network and support wider regeneration in the...

£4.5m hotel coming to the Durham Gate development at Thinford

£4.5m hotel coming to the Durham Gate development at Thinford

A rapidly expanding hospitality business has purchased the site on which it will create its sixth hotel. High Street Hospitality is investing £4.5 million in the 1.5 acre plot, which is part of the Durham Gate retail project at Thinford in County Durham. It will...

Get crafty this half-term at East Durham libraries

Get crafty this half-term at East Durham libraries

Durham County Council libraries in Easington, Seaham and Peterlee will be hosting craft sessions to round off the half term holidays. Finding something fun to do in the last days of the school break is now a little easier thanks to a series of craft sessions. A free...

East Durham food traders to showcase their products at food festival

East Durham food traders to showcase their products at food festival

A food festival with a truly international flavour will showcase some of East Durham’s finest traders and producers next month. The very first Seaham Food Festival will take place on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 June and will feature more than 100 stalls selling delicious...

Plans for affordable housing in Peterlee approved

Plans for affordable housing in Peterlee approved

More than 80 new low-cost homes will be coming to sites in Newton Hall and Peterlee. Planning applications for the developments by believe housing on sites near St Godrics Close in Newton Hall and on Robson Avenue in Peterlee have been approved. A total of 84 new,...

Operation held to clamp down on illegal disposal of waste

Operation held to clamp down on illegal disposal of waste

Vehicles being used to transport controlled waste have been inspected at the roadside during an operation to clamp down on rubbish being disposed of illegally. As part of Operation Stop It, Durham County Council’s award-winning campaign to eliminate flytipping, the...

Peterlee’s Vbites factory the theme of vegan food and drink event

Peterlee’s Vbites factory the theme of vegan food and drink event

Food and drink producers in County Durham are being urged to tap into the increasingly lucrative vegan market. The market is growing rapidly and making a greater contribution to the region’s economy than it ever has before. The North East’s offering within the vegan...

Over 3500 people take part in community clean up campaign

Over 3500 people take part in community clean up campaign

Over 3,500 volunteers across Durham and Darlington rallied to take part in this year’s Big Spring Clean. The campaign, run by LitterFree Durham and Darlington in partnership with Durham County Council and Darlington Borough Council, encourages individuals, community...

Family fun on offer as college’s popular Spring Show returns

Family fun on offer as college’s popular Spring Show returns

It’s time for another fun-filled family day out as East Durham College’s Houghall campus, situated in the heart of Durham, once again opens its doors for its highly-popular annual Spring Show. The annual event regularly attracts thousands of people from around the...

£2m leisure centre and library in Peterlee to re-open next week

£2m leisure centre and library in Peterlee to re-open next week

Peterlee Leisure Centre will reopen to the public next week following a major improvement programme that has included the relocation of the town’s library. The £2 million scheme has seen the refurbishment of the pool changing rooms, a new-look reception space and the...

Shotton Primary School chosen for safer streets initiative

Shotton Primary School chosen for safer streets initiative

A successful scheme to improve road safety by introducing part-time 20mph speed limits around schools looks set to be rolled out to a further six sites. Durham County Council’s Cabinet is next week being recommended to agree to use underspend of more than £100,000 in...

Peterlee’s ZF partners with CRUK to support the fight against cancer

Peterlee’s ZF partners with CRUK to support the fight against cancer

ZF in Peterlee has agreed a partnership with Cancer Research UK to promote the charity’s Race for Life events. ZF employs around 1,000 people at its North West Industrial Estate location, a global leader in the production of specialist safety camera equipment. The...

County Durham leaders fly the flag for our area at Westminster

County Durham leaders fly the flag for our area at Westminster

Durham is a great place to live, work and invest – that’s the message the county’s leaders took right to the heart of government this week. Influential figures from the county’s business, culture and education sectors demonstrated their passion for the area during a...

Easington man fined for renting property without appropriate licence

Easington man fined for renting property without appropriate licence

A man living in Spain has been left £2,000 worse off and with a criminal conviction after renting out his County Durham property without the appropriate licence. Anthony Bellingham was prosecuted by Durham County Council for breaching the requirements of a licensing...

Housing group launches app to make life simpler for tenants

Housing group launches app to make life simpler for tenants

A recently relaunched housing association has launched a new app designed to make life simpler for tenants. believe housing has unveiled a free new app that will make requesting repairs, paying rent and getting in touch much easier for residents. The app, which is...

Peterlee care home cake sale raises £120 for cancer charity

Peterlee care home cake sale raises £120 for cancer charity

A cupcake sale at University Hospital of North Tees has generated £120 to support those with cancer. Staff at Bannatyne Lodge Care Home, in Peterlee, organised the sale to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support. Alongside selling the homemade cupcakes, they also...

County Durham man fined without for driving taxi without licence

County Durham man fined without for driving taxi without licence

Driving a taxi without a licence has cost a County Durham man more than £700. Colin Eltringham, of Front Street, Fishburn, was charged with driving a taxi without a hackney carriage licence following an investigation by Durham County Council’s licensing team. The...

Giant dragon lures crowds to Peterlee shopping centre

Giant dragon lures crowds to Peterlee shopping centre

Hundreds of people turned out to see a dragon on the loose at a Peterlee shopping centre. The giant dragon was on the prowl at Castle Dene Shopping Centre as part of the town’s Easter celebrations and the mythical creature attracted quite the crowd. Visitors to Castle...

Wingate man fined for unlicensed scrap metal dealing

Wingate man fined for unlicensed scrap metal dealing

Unlicensed scrap metal dealers operating in County Durham have been left more than £700 worse off and with criminal records. Brian Bennett, 56, from Wingate, and Adrian Oliver, 35, from Durham, were each ordered to pay £734 having been successfully prosecuted by...

Affordable housing open day taking place in Station Town today

Affordable housing open day taking place in Station Town today

Station Town is the destination for believe housing’s first open day for affordable housing, which could see attendees pick up the keys to their new home in one day.  believe housing, formerly County Durham Housing Group, is opening the doors to a property in Newholme...

No changes to bin collections this bank holiday weekend

No changes to bin collections this bank holiday weekend

Residents in County Durham are reminded that there will be no change to bin collections over the Easter bank holiday. Bins should be placed at the kerbside by 7am as normal on your usual collection day during the weeks starting Monday, 15 and Monday, 22 April. To...

Egg-ceptional number of Easter treats donated for hard up families

Egg-ceptional number of Easter treats donated for hard up families

A cracking number of Easter eggs have been collected for County Durham families in need thanks to generous donations. In the lead up to Easter, Durham County Council sought to make sure that all families can join in the festive fun by calling for sweet treats. More...

More parking spaces freed up for shoppers in Peterlee

More parking spaces freed up for shoppers in Peterlee

Further changes to town centre parking are on the horizon for Peterlee as shopping centre owners reveal plans to free up more car parking spaces for their customers. Castle Dene Shopping Centre will now only offer free all-day parking in its upper Wilko Car Park,...

Sky’s the limit for council chairman as he prepares for charity dive

Sky’s the limit for council chairman as he prepares for charity dive

The sky’s the limit for the Chairman of Durham County Council as he gets set to take on a charity skydive challenge. Cllr John Lethbridge is to complete a tandem skydive to raise money for his chosen charity The Royal British Legion on Saturday, 4 May. The grandfather...

Haswell man fined after being caught flytipping

Haswell man fined after being caught flytipping

A man from Haswell has been caught on camera flytipping in a County Durham village. Thirty-year-old John Hall of Windsor Terrace, was caught on CCTV dumping waste from a vehicle on privately owned land off Black Lane, Wheatley Hill, and as a result has been ordered to...

East Durham College offers safe haven to racoons

East Durham College offers safe haven to racoons

A quartet of racoons, and a pair of raccoon dogs in dire need of a new place to stay have been gifted fantastic new enclosures at East Durham College’s Houghall Campus in Durham. Dere Street Homes & Deerness Fencing & Landscaping Ltd (part of Esh Group)...

County Durham development site could create more than 3,000 jobs

County Durham development site could create more than 3,000 jobs

A North East development site with the potential to create more than 3,000 jobs is being promoted as an investment opportunity by the Government on an international level. Forrest Park in Newton Aycliffe is one of 11 projects to feature in a property portfolio,...

East Durham housing group believes as it unveils new idenity

East Durham housing group believes as it unveils new idenity

One of the north east’s largest providers of affordable homes today revealed its new identity and vision for the future of social housing in the region. County Durham Housing Group, which provides low-cost homes for more than 18,000 families in the region, becomes...

Foster carers across County Durham celebrated

Foster carers across County Durham celebrated

Foster carers who have together devoted hundreds of years of service to some of County Durham’s most vulnerable children have been celebrated. Durham County Council has held its annual foster carers award ceremony to recognise the dedication and commitment of those...

Still time for East Durham areas to register for a Big Spring Clean

Still time for East Durham areas to register for a Big Spring Clean

Litter pickers at the ready - there is still time to be part of the annual Big Spring Clean. Durham County Council has teamed up with LitterFree Durham and Darlington and Darlington Borough Council and calling on local residents, community groups, schools and...

Plans to merge Horden schools to be discussed by councillors

Plans to merge Horden schools to be discussed by councillors

With pupil numbers expected to significantly fall and budgets reducing, plans to amalgamate two schools in County Durham will be discussed by councillors next week. Durham County Council is proposing to amalgamate Cotsford Junior School and Cotsford Infant School in...

Illegal tobacco crackdown sees 24,000 cigarettes seized

Illegal tobacco crackdown sees 24,000 cigarettes seized

More than 24,000 illegal cigarettes, 129kg of rolling tobacco and £50,000 in cash has been seized in the past 12 months as part of efforts to crack down on the illegal tobacco trade in County Durham. The figures are revealed in a report to Durham County Council’s...

Still time to shape allotment policy in East Durham

Still time to shape allotment policy in East Durham

Ensuring allotments are the thriving horticultural centres they should be is at the heart of a review on how key green spaces are maintained in County Durham. Allotment tenants, waiting list applicants and residents are all urged to get involved in the Durham County...

EDC Sixth Form named best in the country for boosting academic results

EDC Sixth Form named best in the country for boosting academic results

East Durham College’s Sixth Form centre, ED6, is celebrating after being named as the top performing college in England for value-added scores, proving that ED6 is truly helping students to reach their full potential. Value-added scores showcase how much progress...

Murton kids club founders honoured for their dedication to the community

Murton kids club founders honoured for their dedication to the community

Two kids club founders have received a high honour for their work with young people in their community. Tracey Slater and Julie Griffiths from Murton accepted a Chairman’s Medal for their dedication to their youth group, Junior Club, founded and run by the two ladies....

County Durham partners pledge to tackle single use plastics

County Durham partners pledge to tackle single use plastics

The region’s largest council and a number of its partners have signed a collective new pledge as part of an ongoing campaign to eradicate single use plastics. Representatives from Durham County Council were joined at its County Hall headquarters by a number of...

East Durham College construction students start at the very end

East Durham College construction students start at the very end

College construction students who are to be given real work experience on a County Durham building site got a glimpse of what their contribution will create. The youngsters from East Durham College in Peterlee were invited to the Durham Villages Regeneration Company...

Have your say on planned improvements to Seaham’s conservation area

Have your say on planned improvements to Seaham’s conservation area

Proposed changes to a County Durham town’s conservation area are coming to consultation. Durham County Council is working towards the second stage of its grant application to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the delivery of a townscape heritage scheme in Seaham,...

£11,000 of funding to transform the lives of women in the North East

£11,000 of funding to transform the lives of women in the North East

A community interest company which supports and empowers the women of County Durham has secured £11,000 of funding to transform the lives of many women in the region. Aspire Learning, Support and Wellbeing, based in Chester-le-Street, has announced the boost from...

Alison proves she’s a trailblazer on International Women’s Day

Alison proves she’s a trailblazer on International Women’s Day

Childhood wasn’t easy for Alison Brightwell. Diagnosed at a very young age with a rare form of eye cancer known as retinoblastoma, Alison, and her family lived through a very scary time, full of treatment and hospitals. It all ended with Alison having to have her eye...

Easington MP backs World Book Day

Easington MP backs World Book Day

Easington MP Grahame Morris has backed World Book Day as new figures reveal the number of books issued from public libraries in the North East has fallen by 49 per cent since 2011. The number of books borrowed in the North East has decreased from 13. The research,...

Funding available to support East Durham community projects

Funding available to support East Durham community projects

A funding programme for community groups is looking to help more projects in east Durham after a host of successes in the area. County Durham Housing Group’s ‘group grant’ scheme is looking for more applications after helping dozens of projects in east Durham. The...

Easington MP supports asthma campaign around prescription charges

Easington MP supports asthma campaign around prescription charges

Easington MP Grahame Morris has pledged to support a campaign that could help thousands of people with asthma in the North East. The campaign is to help those people who are struggling to pay their asthma prescription charges and could be at an increased risk of...

New homes help Seaham mother put down roots in the town she grew up in

New homes help Seaham mother put down roots in the town she grew up in

The first of more than 50 new homes in Seaham have already helped a new mother put down roots in the area where she grew up. A brand-new two-bed home has helped Emma Davison find a comfortable and affordable way to bring up her daughter close to family and friends....

Peterlee care home hosts inaugural coffee morning

Peterlee care home hosts inaugural coffee morning

Families, friends and VIPs turned out for an inaugural coffee morning at a Peterlee care home. The Town Mayor Councillor Scott Meikle, Deputy Mayor Councillor Terry Duffy and Councillor Gordon Carne were among the guests at the first Bannatyne Lodge Care Home...

Two East Durham charities benefit from lottery funding boost

Two East Durham charities benefit from lottery funding boost

Graham Morris, MP for Easington, has welcomed the news that two local charities have received funding from trusts funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. East Durham Partnership has received £20,000 of funding from the People’s Postcode Trust for their project...

Easington MP supports bill to cap limit on bus driver working hours

Easington MP supports bill to cap limit on bus driver working hours

Easington MP Grahame Morris has given his support to a Parliamentary Bill that seeks to limit the driving hours worked by bus drivers on local routes, to prevent bus crashes caused through driver fatigue. The Bill has been introduced in response to the Coventry bus...

East Durham families sought for food waste challenge

East Durham families sought for food waste challenge

Families that are fed up of throwing away food waste are being invited to take part in a challenge. Durham County Council is looking for volunteers to take part in the Food Waste Challenge, which is a fun way to help households reduce their food waste and help make...

College students prove they’re a cut above with regional award wins

College students prove they’re a cut above with regional award wins

Talented hair and beauty students at East Durham College are toasting further success. The team has won a clutch of awards at this year’s Association of Hairdressers and Therapists (AHT) Regional Heats held at the Federation Brewery in Gateshead. Competing against 12...

Controversial Peterlee landmark to celebrate its 50th birthday

Controversial Peterlee landmark to celebrate its 50th birthday

A County Durham landmark named after the first moon landing will celebrate its half century this year. The Apollo Pavilion at Peterlee was completed in 1969 and named as a lasting tribute to that year’s Apollo landing, which saw Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin take...

Residents urged to support Easington litter pick

Residents urged to support Easington litter pick

Communities and individuals across County Durham and Darlington are being urged to become Litter Heroes by joining the annual ‘Big Spring Clean’. LitterFree Durham & Darlington, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, has once again teamed up with Durham...

Say ‘I Do’ to Marriage Allowance this Valentine’s Day

Say ‘I Do’ to Marriage Allowance this Valentine’s Day

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is sharing the love this Valentine’s Day and encouraging married couples and those in a civil partnership to sign up for Marriage Allowance. More than 3.5 million couples are already benefitting from Marriage Allowance, which was...

East Durham College students shine at regional welding awards

East Durham College students shine at regional welding awards

Two talented engineers from East Durham College’s Technical Academy are celebrating after achieving second and third place at this year’s highly prestigious Northumbria Branch of The Welding Institute (TWI) Awards in the Student of the Year category. Adam Rutter and...

Hartlepool singer Michael Rice wins song for Europe race

Hartlepool singer Michael Rice wins song for Europe race

A singer from Hartlepool has been chosen to compete in this year's Eurovision Song Contest. During the BBC's live 'You Decide' show last night, Friday, February 8, Michael Rice was chosen to represent the United Kingdom at the 64th Eurovision event with the song,...

Peterlee primary school children pick up life saving skills

Peterlee primary school children pick up life saving skills

Primary school pupils in Peterlee have been picking up free first aid training as part of a pilot scheme by one of the region’s largest housing associations. 35 students at Seascape Primary School have learned vital skills that could help their friends and families in...

Peterlee community project receives £300,000 funding boost

Peterlee community project receives £300,000 funding boost

A partnership project in County Durham that improves community resilience has secured over £300,000 of funding so it can continue for three more years. East Durham Area Action Partnership (APP), Groundwork, Horden and Peterlee Rugby Club, and Horden Youth and...

Sports sessions launch to keep youngsters off the streets in Peterlee

Sports sessions launch to keep youngsters off the streets in Peterlee

Efforts to get youngsters off the streets are being taken at a Peterlee shopping centre in collaboration with local stakeholders and Durham Police. Castle Dene Shopping Centre will host sports sessions for ten to 16-year-olds in the lower ground Asda Car Park car...

MP encourages local charities to apply for up to £20,000 of funding

MP encourages local charities to apply for up to £20,000 of funding

Easington MP Grahame Morris is encouraging local charities and good causes to apply for over £3million of funding that has been raised by the players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Applications are open from 6 February until 20 February, where a whole host of good...

Environmental scheme to help young offenders wins national funding

Environmental scheme to help young offenders wins national funding

A scheme that sees young people who have offended work to improve County Durham’s countryside has won thousands of pounds worth of funding in a public vote. The Durham Woodland Revival project, which aims to improve the county’s woodlands, has teamed up with The Skill...

Jobs fair for staff affected by Country Style Foods fire

Jobs fair for staff affected by Country Style Foods fire

A jobs fair is being held for staff employed at food factory which was badly damaged in a fire over the weekend. Over 100 people are employed at Country Style Foods, which is based on the North East Industrial Estate in Peterlee. Permanent staff are currently working...

North East councils and landlords join forces to tackle tenancy fraud

North East councils and landlords join forces to tackle tenancy fraud

North East councils and housing providers are working together to help prevent tenancy fraud and the billions of pounds it costs taxpayers. The partners, from the North East Tenancy Fraud Forum, have organised a week-long campaign to raise awareness of the harm caused...

Get creative and crafty at East Durham libraries this February

Get creative and crafty at East Durham libraries this February

Kids and adults alike in County Durham can get creative at their local library this February at a series of art and crafts sessions. A range of activities are on offer on selected dates throughout February and into March. For just £1 a session, children can create...

East Durham taxi driver and operator fined for flouting licensing laws

East Durham taxi driver and operator fined for flouting licensing laws

A taxi driver and his boss are facing a combined bill of more than £900 after breaching licensing laws. Dean Smith, from Seaham, was driving a private hire vehicle when he arrived at a school in Murton to pick up a pupil. However, when an officer from Durham County...

Durham leading the fight against single use plastics

Durham leading the fight against single use plastics

With the amount of plastic produced worldwide each year expected to rise to 400 million tonnes by 2020, councillors are to review work which is being undertaken to tackle use of unnecessary single use plastics. Durham County Council’s Cabinet will hear about the...

£500,000 funding boost for charity that helps low income families

£500,000 funding boost for charity that helps low income families

A Durham-based charity that works with social housing providers to help tenants access loans for vital household goods has received a £500,000 investment boost from the North East Social Investment Fund managed by Newcastle-based investor Northstar Ventures. The...

The Academy at Shotton Hall among winners and sport and fitness awards

The Academy at Shotton Hall among winners and sport and fitness awards

The talent and commitment of individuals and organisations who champion sport and physical activity have been recognised at a County Durham awards ceremony. The annual Active Durham Sport and Physical Activity Awards honoured individuals, coaches, volunteers, clubs...

Concepts for restoration of Seaham to be unveiled

Concepts for restoration of Seaham to be unveiled

New designs set to restore a County Durham town’s historic character are to be unveiled. Durham County Council will unveil new concept designs for Seaham town centre this week. The proposed improvements are a key part of the second stage application to the Heritage...

Discounts available to people who sign up for Race for Life this month

Discounts available to people who sign up for Race for Life this month

People in Durham are being encouraged to get January off to a great start by making a date to join Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life. As an added incentive, there’s 30 per cent off entry fees* during January with the code RFL30. This year, for the first time, Cancer...