AN iconic mining landmark on the brink of demolition has been saved thanks to a committed bunch of campaigners.

The headframe at Groverake mine in Weardale, County Durham, has been under threat for more than a year after the owner’s lease on the site ran out.

However, residents, mining enthusiasts and former employees of the closed fluorspar mine refused to let the headframe go without a fight and formed a campaign group called The Friends of Groverake.

The owner, Sherburn Stone, agreed to hand over the head gear and, with the help of the Friends of Killhope, the campaigners presented a business plan to the landowner’s agent.

An appeal was then launched to raise the £18,000 needed to cover the legal costs associated with taking on the structure, with money pouring

in from as far-a-field as the United States.

Today (Tuesday), Margaret Manchester, of the Friends of Killhope, announced the future of the much-loved landmark near Rookhope was secure.

And the news is all the greater because the landowner has agreed to take responsibility for headframe, meaning all of the appeal donations will be refunded.

Mrs Manchester said: “This is an excellent outcome for a historic structure which is dear to the hearts of local people. My father worked at the mine and I know how happy he will be at this news.”

Mrs Manchester thanked those who had supported the appeal, adding: “Without such huge public interest we would probably have lost this vital part of our heritage for ever. All those who gave money will now receive a full refund and we wish the landowner all the best for the future of Groverake. We have offered him any help he might need.”

Retired Groverake miner Ron Hepple said: “I’m delighted it has been saved. Hopefully, it will enrich tourism in the Dale.”