AN MP has called for County Durham’s archives to be moved out of a city in favour of Bishop Auckland.

Durham County Council has approved a consultation asking for people’s views on moving the county’s archives from Aykley Heads, in Durham, to the other side of the city, to the manor house at Mount Oswald, off South Road.

Bishop Auckland MP Helen Goodman has called for the archives, which span 900 years and take up five miles of storage space at County Hall, to move to the town to complement ongoing regeneration projects around Auckland Castle.

She said: “Durham County Council has announced ambitious new plans for attracting jobs to Aykley Heads and we all wish to see that.

“But it’s totally unfair that all the investment should go into Durham City. Durham County Council is proposing to spend £60million in the wealthiest part of the county – but the reserves have been built up from council tax paid by people across the county.”

A consultation is underway over the plans to relocate the archive to the Grade II listed building, along with the county’s registry services and other collections, including that of the Durham Light Infantry, to form a Durham History Centre.

Cabinet member Cllr Joy Allen said: “This proposal to create a Durham history centre is very exciting and offers us a unique opportunity to make our precious archives far more accessible to residents and visitors alike.”

To take part, visit

Drop in sessions are taking place at:

• Clayport Library, Monday 29 January, 2pm to 7pm

• Durham Register Office, Aykley Heads House, Durham, 3 February, 11am to 3pm

• Bishop Auckland Town Hall, Monday 5 February, 2pm to 7pm