THE designs for the a new history centre for County Durham have been revealed.

Durham County Council is planning to open Durham History Centre in the historic Mount Oswald Manor in Durham city.

It has now released the first images of how the new £17m centre, which will house the Durham Light Infantry (DLI) collection, as well as the County Durham archive, which is currently kept at County Hall, and Durham Register Office.

The council is proposing to restore and refurbish the Grade II listed manor house and build a modern building next to it.

Councillor Joy Allen, Durham County Council’s cabinet member for transformation, culture and tourism, said: “Our plans to create a centre which will preserve, promote and celebrate the wide and varied history and heritage of County Durham are bold and ambitious and we are keen to share our proposals with residents.

The Northern Echo:

How the entrance to the proposed Durham History Centre could look

“We also want to seek their views on the finer details of the plans such as any activities it may offer and the facilities that will be available to the public.”

The council is holding a six-week consultation to give people a chance to comment on the proposals.

As well as having their say on how the centre will look, residents are being asked to comment on the layout of the centre, exhibition plans and digital access to services as well as the registration service.

It is hoped the centre will tell the story of the county’s history and heritage through historic records, photographs and objects, but will also host exhibitions, activities and events and provide a countywide outreach programme.

In addition to the county’s archives, the centre will house historic registration records, environment and archaeology records and local studies collections as well as the Durham Light Infantry Collection, bringing artefacts and records relating to the regiment together for the first time in a number of years.

There will also be permanent and temporary exhibition spaces within the centre as well as a café.

Drop-in sessions take place at Bishop Auckland Town Hall on Monday, June 24, from 12pm-3pm, at Durham Register Officer, in Aykley Heads House, on Friday, June 21 from 10am-1pm and at Clayport Library, Durham, on Friday, July 19, from 12pm-3pm.

Comments can be made online by visiting before Sunday, July 28.