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

Improvement works on 50 affordable homes in Horden nears completion

Improvement works on 50 affordable homes in Horden nears completion

Work to improve more than 50 affordable homes in Horden is nearing completion as part of a major investment in the area. Homes on the Ponyfields Estate are receiving new roofs and upgrades to walls as part of an extensive improvements to affordable homes in east...

Celebrations to mark Apollo’s 50th birthday

Celebrations to mark Apollo’s 50th birthday

Celebrations have been held to mark the Apollo Pavilion's 50th birthday. A free-of-charge musical extravaganza took place yesterday at the structure, on the town’s Sunny Blunts estate, featuring performances from Mr Wilson’s Second Liners and Oompah Brass, as part of...

Wheatley Hill pupils deliver valuable road safety sonnets

Wheatley Hill pupils deliver valuable road safety sonnets

Primary school pupils are helping their peers stay road savvy by becoming Junior Road Safety Officers (JRSO). The Junior Road Safety Officer (JRSO) scheme is a national road safety education project aimed at primary schools which encourages peer to peer education. The...

Story awarded contract to design and build Horden Railway Station

Story awarded contract to design and build Horden Railway Station

Story Contracting has been awarded a Network Rail contract to design and build a new railway station in County Durham. Following a bumper start to 2019 for the civil engineering company’s expanding rail division, Story has secured further contract success, being...

Easington MP calls for fair pay settlement for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Easington MP calls for fair pay settlement for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Easington MP Grahame Morris has called on Defence Ministers’ to lift the pay cap and deliver a fair pay settlement for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) is a civilian crewed fleet, which carried out 64 per cent of the Royal Navy’s tasks. The...

£8m affordable housing project is underway in Peterlee

£8m affordable housing project is underway in Peterlee

Work is underway on an £8 million housing project that will provide much needed affordable housing in County Durham. The development, in Peterlee, involves Galliford Try Partnerships North and believe housing (formerly County Durham Housing Group) and will include...

Foodbank anticipating rise in demand as summer holidays loom

Foodbank anticipating rise in demand as summer holidays loom

Businesses are being urged to give their support to a local foodbank as the six weeks holidays approach. The East Durham FEED project has previously reported a sharp rise in demand for its services and is urging businesses to give their support over the summer...

Work starts on 40 affordable houses in Peterlee

Work starts on 40 affordable houses in Peterlee

Construction of more than 40 affordable homes on a brownfield site in Peterlee has been officially started. A mix of family houses and bungalows are being developed at Tamar Close and Teign Close, near the heart of Peterlee by believe housing. The County Durham-based...

Seaton Lane reopens after discovery of a sinkhole

Seaton Lane reopens after discovery of a sinkhole

A County Durham road which had to be closed following the discovery of a sinkhole has reopened after less than two weeks. The B1404 Seaton Lane, at Seaton near Seaham, was closed by Durham County Council on Friday 21 June in the interests of public safety, after a...

Affordable housing open day comes to Horden

Affordable housing open day comes to Horden

An open day to showcase believe housing's affordable homes programme comes to Horden today (Wednesday). A property in Davies Walk will be available for viewing between 11am and 5pm. One-bedroom flats to three-bedroom family houses are available, with rents starting...

Peterlee care home worker offers colleague lifesaving advice

Peterlee care home worker offers colleague lifesaving advice

Emma Hume, Deputy Manager at HC-One’s Grampian Court care home in Peterlee, is being celebrated for her caring and thoughtful concern for her colleague’s health. While demonstrating to the team at Grampian Court how to perform blood pressure and heart rate checks on...

East Durham housing association completes repairs in-sourcing

East Durham housing association completes repairs in-sourcing

Leading social landlord believe housing has completed the in-sourcing of repairs to its 18,000 affordable homes. From today (1 July), repairs and maintenance work to 8,000 affordable homes in east Durham will be carried out directly by staff from believe housing. The...

East Durham residents warned about the dangers of scammers

East Durham residents warned about the dangers of scammers

Durham County Council is supporting a national campaign to target scams and offer advice to help people avoid being duped. Throughout June, Durham County Council’s trading standards team has been supporting the National Scams Awareness Campaign to make people more...

Going green to keep County Durham’s streets clean

Going green to keep County Durham’s streets clean

The North East’s largest council is trialling new electric cleaning equipment as part of its fight against climate change. Members of Durham County Council’s Clean and Green Team have been using a new electric bin lift and road sweeper to empty the county’s wheelie...

Charity hopes new function room is a hive of fundraising activity

Charity hopes new function room is a hive of fundraising activity

A local charity is hoping that a new function room can help provide much-needed funds for the future. Haswell & District Mencap enlisted the help of the Mayor of Peterlee, Cllr. Terry Duffy, to open up ‘The Hive @ Haswell’, a stand-alone building located next to...

Seaton Lane remains closed following discovery of sinkhole

Seaton Lane remains closed following discovery of sinkhole

A County Durham road has been closed in the interests of public safety following the discovery of a sinkhole. The B1404 Seaton Lane, at Seaton near Seaham, was closed earlier today by Durham County Council after excavation work revealed a void underneath the road...

Ambitious vision for County Durham unveiled

Ambitious vision for County Durham unveiled

By 2035, County Durham will have more and better jobs, people will live long and independent lives and communities will be well connected and supportive. That’s the vision being proposed for the area by the County Durham Partnership – but do you agree with this...

National success for East Durham College barbering students

National success for East Durham College barbering students

A pair of talented barbers from East Durham College have proven they’ve been sharpening their skills to precision. That's after winning prestigious awards at 2019’s BBA (British Barbers Association) National Student Barber of the Year 2019 competition. Jess Filby, 30...

Trimdon and Thornley councillor gears up for 500-mile bike ride

Trimdon and Thornley councillor gears up for 500-mile bike ride

A county councillor and committed cyclist is gearing up for 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 Age UK. The charity was chosen by newly appointed...

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...