Shildon’s three decorative arches will remain after local residents voted overwhelmingly to ask Durham County Council to keep them.
The recent consultation on the future of the arches asked residents if they wanted to keep all of them, some of them, just the columns for new artworks or to remove them altogether.
With 347 people taking part in the consultation, over 83 per cent voted for all of the arches to remain. As a result, the council will now repair the arches so they can be kept for Shildon and its residents.
Cllr Neil Foster, Cabinet member for economic regeneration and culture, said: “We’re delighted that so many people in Shildon took part in the consultation and let us know what they wanted for the future of their town. We will now look to repair the arches as soon as possible to secure their future for Shildon.”
After plans to regenerate the Market Place in Shildon were unveiled earlier in the year – ahead of the Flying Scotsman visit – local residents contacted the council and asked if further consultation could be carried out on the future of the arches.
Cllr Brian Stephens, Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and partnerships, said: “After residents contacted their local councillors we were more than happy to listen and consult again. It’s only right that local people get to have a say on how the budget for their town centre is spent and the result of the consultation is extremely clear that this is a priority for residents.”
The three structures were erected in the town’s Main Street, Church Street and Town Square in 2000 as part of the millennium celebrations. Over a period of time the arches have deteriorated, with flaking paint and rusting metalwork now clearly visible.
Following the vote however the council will now move to repair the arches at an estimated cost of just over £85,000.