A CAMPAIGN set up to save the world’s oldest railway institute has hit the £2,000 mark.

The 'Save Our Stute’ (SOS) campaign is hoping to raise £20,000 to save Shildon Railway Institute from closing for good.

The two periods of enforced closure during the pandemic has meant writing off the bar’s stock and then re-buying it, furloughing staff and cancelling several events.

Volunteers said the situation has only been aggravated by the strict social distancing laws and 10pm curfew, resulting in reduced attendance during opening hours.

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

A spokesperson for the campaign said: "Every single pound is gratefully received. Many lovely comments have been left on the crowdfunder page that have touched us all deeply.

"As well as our appeal video, we have shared the first of several personal testimonials on Facebook, from staff, committee and volunteers on what the 'Stute' means to them.

"We are absolutely delighted that The Northern Echo is backing our appeal. We’ve now been forwarded new options for additional funding by our MP Dehenna Davison's team."

To donate, visit crowdfunder.co.uk/save-our-stute-last-orders online.