A STUDY will look into proposals to re-open the former Durham Light Infantry (DLI) Museum and Gallery.

A Durham County Council review considered whether the old building and grounds at Aykley Heads could be repurposed as a “cultural venue”.

Councillors were told it was “impracticable” to bring the museum back to house the entire DLI collection and archive - one of the country’s most extensive regimental collections, currently split across different sites.

“However a preferred option for developing the former DLI Museum and Art Gallery building for a cultural use should be considered,” said Amy Harhoff, the council’s corporate director of regeneration, economy and growth.

“The report recommends that a further feasibility study is commissioned into refurbishment of the former DLI Museum and Art Gallery as an exhibition space, gallery and cafe.”

This would include a dedicated space for the display of items in the DLI collection and a peace and contemplation garden.

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said Durham lacked exhibition and gallery space and a “wider cultural venue” supported City of Culture aspirations.

She added: “We want to ensure that the DLI collection is displayed in the most appropriate way.

“Cabinet are very aware that the DLI collection holds a special place in the hearts of the people of County Durham.

“And we want to honour and respect that as best we can.”

Cllr Mark Wilkes said: “The public were rightly disgusted when Labour shut down the DLI Museum and the only art gallery our World Heritage city had.

“And I’ll be absolutely delighted when we can walk into a fully renovated environmentally friendly DLI building fit for purpose and managed properly for the long term.”

Recommendations will be brought back to cabinet in early 2022.