A NORTH-EAST landmark has been shortlisted for a national planning award.

Auckland Tower, in Bishop Auckland, is in the running to pick up an award in the heritage and culture category at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2019.

The tower was opened in 2018 and designed by architect Niall McLaughlin to reflect Bishop Auckland.

Its first floor display tells the early history of the Prince Bishops of Durham and their former home, Auckland Castle.

Cllr Carl Marshall, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: "As part of our plans to rejuvenate Bishop Auckland town centre we needed to make the most of the area’s fascinating heritage and enhance the visitor experience, which is exactly what The Auckland Project’s new welcome centre does. Auckland Tower is helping the town to further become a cultural tourist destination for local and international visitors."

Durham County Council submitted the application to the awards, on behalf of the Brighter Bishop Auckland Partnership Board, in recognition of the collaborative partnership that helped make Auckland Tower possible.

The award winners will be announced during a ceremony held at London on Wednesday, April 24.