FREEMEN have donated £2,000 to help build a memorial to a North-East regiment in its home city.

The City of Durham Freemen donation took the total raised under an appeal to build a statue honouring the Durham Light Infantry (DLI) in Durham Market Place to £57,000.

Supporters hope to reach their £75,000 in the next few months and unveil the statue, depicting a DLI bugler in Korea, on Sunday, September 14.

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The Freemen donation is one of the largest made to date.

John Heslop, leader of the Freemen, said: “We recognise the sentimental links between the people of the city and their regiment.

“We’re very pleased to be able to support those sentiments and hope the publicity will help the appeal.”

Colonel Arthur Charlton, the appeal co-ordinator, said: “It’s a wonderful boost to the funds and gives added impetus to the final push to our target of £75,000.”

The statue, which will stand outside Durham Town Hall, will be 12ft high, made of patinated bronze and standing on a local sandstone plinth.

It will mirror a £90,000 statue installed at the National Arboretum in Staffordshire in 2012.

To support the appeal, send a cheque payable to Regimental and Chattels Charity of the former DLI to: DLI Memorial Appeal, The Rifles Durham office, Elvet Waterside, Durham, DH1 3BW.