CAMPAIGNERS say they have been given fresh hope that the Durham Light Infantry Museum could be reopened under a new council administration.

The Faithful Durham, who fought against the closure of the DLI Museum at Aykley Heads in March 2016, said the Labour-led council had not listened to their pleas for the regiment to be done full justice under plans for a new history centre at Mount Oswald.

But they had been given an undertaking the new Joint Alliance would review the decision around the museum closure.

Faithful Durham secretary Diane Inglis said: “The independent councillors who have been backing us have told us the DLI Museum reinstatement will be on the agenda when they do get together. We have also spoken to the Conservative MP Richard Holden, who has backed out campaign.

“This is the most positive thing that has happened since the closure of the museum, as far as we are concerned.

“While we know that the new Joint Alliance has a lot to do, we are hopeful there will be more of a permanent display of the DLI collection.

“They can’t promise to reopen the old museum, but at least they are willing to discuss it, which is what Labour wouldn’t do.

“We have been overwhelmed by the support for our campaign.

The DLI Museum which housed historic uniforms, firearms, medals from the regiment, was closed despite opposition, with most of the collection taken to a specialist facility in Spennymoor.

Under the previous administration plans had been approved to bring together archive, heritage and registration services for the county at Mount Oswald Manor House.

But campaigners say they were told that while the collection would be brought together at the Durham History Centre, it would be mainly in storage.

Mrs Inglis said: “They were planning more of a digital visual experience and a few items scattered about rather than a museum with a comprehensive display of artefacts.

“They could not guarantee a permanent display which was a big concern to our group. The building where the museum was housed was not condemned so it could reopen, which would be ideal because the ashes of many veterans are scattered there."