A PROJECT encouraging healthier lifestyles across the North-East has been launched by a former MP.

Lord Foster, who represented Bishop Auckland, officially marked the start of the Health Express today (November 16) at Locomotion: The National Railway Museum in Shildon.

The scheme aims to encourage healthier lifestyle choices and to give better access to advice and health services.

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It has been funded and led by Shildon-based county councillor Brian Stephens, along with livin and Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust.

The scheme also has the backing of Bishop Auckland and Shildon Area Action Partnership team and it is hoped to widen the project across Durham.

Coun Stephens said: “The launch event has been a great success.

“Bringing so many key partners together under one roof ensures everyone in Shildon has the same access and opportunities to improve their health.

“Research has shown that Shildon has disproportionate figures compared to the national average with more people suffering from cancer, heart disease and high levels of obesity.

“It is our aim to encourage as many people as possible to sign-up on-line giving access news, information and special offers designed to support them on their journey to good health.”

Visitors to the launch were able to see 20 exhibitors and to enjoy live cooking demonstrations, free physical activity taster sessions and free health checks.

For more information about the project visit Health Express online at health-express.co.uk