AN MP is the latest to back the 'Save our Stute' campaign to save the world's oldest railway institute.

Bishop Auckland MP Dehenna Davison has said she will do all she can to help save Shildon Railway Institute, on Redworth Road.

The announcement follows a desperate plea by volunteers who are trying to raise £20,000 to safeguard its future.

Shildon Railway Institute has been at the heart of the town since it was founded by Timothy Hackworth for the town’s railway workers and their families in 1833.

Its current home since 1911, the building is a place where generations have come together over the decades.

When the railway works closed in 1984, the beautiful Grade II listed building was gifted by owners North Eastern Railway to its members.

However, volunteers have been forced to set up a desperate crowdfunding appeal to ensure its doors reopen.

The Northern Echo:

The group said coronavirus has meant writing off the bar’s stock and then re-buying it, furloughing staff and cancelling several events.

Outgoings have quickly overtaken income and the venue’s finances are in a perilous state.

On Monday, Ms Davison and her team spoke with a member of the committee after seeing their Facebook post and campaign.

They have informed the group of the funding schemes available to apply for and said they will continue to assist them in their applications.

Ms Davison said: “The Stute is right at the heart of the community in Shildon. As well as having huge benefits for local residents, the railway institute is the world’s first of its kind, and a key historical asset to the town. We must all come together to secure its future.

“My team have already spoken with representatives from the committee to discuss how we can support them and assist them in getting the vital financial support available from the Government. I will continue to work with them and do all I can to 'Save our Stute'.

Ms Davison's support follows backing by The Northern Echo calling on readers to donate to the campaign.

Since the fundraiser went live on Sunday night, the team have raised £1,557 and hope donations continue.

To donate to the crowdfunding appeal visit online.