BUDDING beauties are being sought for the return of a county contest.

Organisers of Miss Durham 2013 have launched their annual search for the region’s beauty queens.

The winner will go on to represent the county competing for a guaranteed place in Miss England and will then have the chance to secure her place in Miss World, with a $100,000 prize up for grabs.

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Auditions for Miss Durham, which last year was won by 17-year-old Elleanor (CORR) Ryan from Middleborough, are taking place at Sedgefield Racecourse and the closing date is Thursday, February 28, when the final 20 girls will be chosen.

Jill Williamson, General Manager of Sedgefield Racecourse said: “The ladies of Durham are a glamorous bunch and love dressing to impress.

“We’ve been holding Miss Durham at the racecourse for nine years now and it’s become a huge event on our calendar.

”We’re looking for women with a good attitude who take pride in their appearance and ooze charisma.

“The winner will go on to represent Durham against the rest of the country so it’s a big responsibility and we need somebody who will really step up to the challenge”.

Applicants must be aged 17 and 24 on Monday, September 30.

Application forms can be requested by email from egillies@sedgefield-racecourse.co.uk

The Miss Durham Final will be held at Sedgefield Racecourse on Saturday, May 25, and will see the final 20 girls go head to head to compete before a panel of judges in three individual rounds.