Tyne & Wear

Plan to save home of Durham's 'Pitman's Parliament'

Redhills Image copyright Durham Miners' Association
Image caption Redhills was constructed when the city's first miners' hall became too small to house its swelling membership

Millions of pounds is set to be spent transforming a run-down 104-year-old miners' hall in Durham into a community and arts hub.

The Grade II-listed Redhills Miners' Hall opened in 1915 and houses the "Pitman's Parliament", where delegates from nearby collieries once gathered.

Durham Miners' Association (DMA) says it needs £6.7m for the project and has bid for £4m of lottery funding.

Durham County Council has agreed to invest more than £1m in the scheme.

Described by the DMA as a "unique and extraordinary place", Redhills is in need of major renovations, especially to its roof.

Image copyright Durham Miners' Association
Image caption Delegates from each colliery would sit in a chamber known as the Pitman's Parliament

The DMA has already secured £1m of funding and raised a further £50,000, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Redhills was selected by Historic England as one of the 100 places that bring the country's "rich and extraordinary history" to life.

A recent inspection indicated the building would be rendered unusable unless a full roof repair was carried out within the next five to 10 years.

A Durham County Council spokeswoman said: "I think that this proposal will ensure a modern use for a very important historic building.

"The county has a very strong mining heritage and this can provide the background for future generations to learn about their history, while developing the skills and interests which will also shape their future."

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