WORK is moving forward to recreate a County Durham community centre at an outdoor museum.

The 1950s Leasingthorne Colliery Welfare Hall and Community Centre, now known as Coundon and Leeholme Community Centre, is being recreated at Beamish Museum.

The outside of the Beamish replica has now been completed and it is due to open next spring as part of a new 1950s town at the museum.

Sally Dixon, assistant director of partnerships and communications at Beamish, said: “North East towns in the 1950s would generally have had at least one community hall which was usually paid for through workers’ subscriptions, and the Leasingthorne Colliery Welfare Hall and Community Centre was typical of buildings that could be found all over the region around that time.

“The replica hall will be a permanent part of the museum, and visitors will be able to learn about the important role such venues played in towns and villages across the North East in a wholly authentic environment.”

The original hall opened in 1957 and was built with funds raised by miners.

The Beamish project was funded by a £22,000 grant from The Banks Group’s community fund.

Once open, the building will operate as a multi-functional space, enabling the museum to increase its work with local community groups.