VILLAGE groups are joining together in a bid to secure lottery cash for the renovation of a war memorial.

Middleton-in-Teesdale Parish Council and Upper Teesdale Agricultural Support Services (Utass) are leading the project, which will also involve the village primary school and heritage group.

This month's parish council meeting was told a bid for £9,000 was being made to the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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Clerk Alison Brown said if successful, the money would be used to clean the cenotaph, in the village centre, while all the stonework and wording would be upgraded.

She explained that a letter of agreement had been signed between the council and Utass clarifying responsibilities.

Mrs Brown said a small display of First World War artifacts and memorabilia was also planned as part of the project.

Meanwhile, parish councillors were told a second heritage restoration project in the village is due to be carried out in June.

Two contractors have been appointed to restore the Bainbridge Memorial Fountain to its former glory.

The fountain, which stands at the junction of Bridge Street and Chapel Row, was erected in 1877 in memory of Robert Walton Bainbridge, superintendent of the London Lead Mining Company, which based its administrative centre at Middleton-in-Teesdale in the 19th century.

The company was the major employer in the area, building houses, chapels and a school for workers and their families.

So much money was raised when Mr Bainbridge retired, £200 was left over to pay for the fountain.

However, the faded structure needs shotblasting and repainting.

The parish council is funding the work and Mrs Brown said both contractors were hoping to be on site in early June.

In the meantime, the parish council is applying to Durham County Council for a pavement licence, which will allow hoarding to be put up round the fountain while the work is completed.