THE historic home of Durham Miners Association has been handed over to the public.

A long-running project by the DMA to secure the future of its Grade-II listed Redhills headquarters, in Durham City, will see it restored as a centre of heritage, culture, and education.

The redevelopment of Durham Miners Hall will include new buildings and modern, accessible facilities along with cutting-edge audio-visual technology to bring to life the area's rich mining history.

To secure its future, DMA launched The Redhills Appeal and pledged that it would hand over ownership of the Miners Hall to the communities of the Durham coalfield.

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Throughout this year officials have worked to create a charity, constituted to serve as stewards of the Miners Hall on behalf of the public, and today the project took a big step forward when ownership of the hall transferred to Redhills Charitable Incorporated Organisation.

With a board in place, Redhills CIO will receive the funding pledged to the multi-million-pound scheme, ensure the renewal programme is completed and that the Miners Hall serves its communities for generations to come.

The public will have an active role in shaping the renewed Miners Hall and its future activities, including through a community network launched in April this year.

Alan Mardghum, secretary of the DMA, said: “This is an historic day for the DMA and our communities as we take this vital step in ensuring the future of the Miners Hall.

“Today, we return Redhills to the people. Our thanks go to the CIO board members who have stepped up to serve as the stewards of Redhills on behalf of our communities. All have a deep affinity with our communities and commitment to ensure success for the Miners Hall.

“All of us at the DMA know that Redhills will be in safe hands and will serve our people for generations to come.”

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The Redhills CIO board is chaired by Chris McDonald, who is from a mining family in Blackhall, and CEO of the Materials Processing Institute and cornet player in the Durham Miners Association Brass Band.

He said: “Redhills is much more than a building. It represents the work, sacrifice and achievements of Durham’s miners and their families across the generations. It is deeply important to the people of the county.

“It is our great honour and responsibility to take care of the Miners Hall on their behalf. We are all determined that Redhills will serve as a great legacy for the remarkable people who have gone before us. We will achieve this by ensuring Redhills is here for their communities, serving as an inspiration and a platform for new achievements.

“The story of the Durham miners will continue to be written.”

Both men were joined at Redhills by members of the DMA executive and the county’s banner groups, representing former mining communities across the Durham coalfield, for the official transferral.

The Pitman’s Parliament

The Pitman’s Parliament

Opened on October 23, 1915, Redhills, Durham Miners Hall was funded by more than 150,000 working Durham miners.

At its heart is The Pitman’s Parliament, from where elected delegates created a pioneering social system across County Durham’s communities providing education, sickness and unemployment benefits, retirement homes, medical care, community centres, libraries, sports fields before the launch of the welfare state.

The restoration and renewal of Redhills will cost a total of £7.25m – with £4.5million coming from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Durham County Council providing £1.1million in matched funding and a further £1.65m pledged by trades unions and other supporters.

For updates on developments, follow @RedhillsDurham on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Delegates in the PItman’s Parliament bow their heads in silence, in January 1944, to honour the men killed in Durham’s mines since the previous meeting

Delegates in the PItman’s Parliament bow their heads in silence, in January 1944, to honour the men killed in Durham’s mines since the previous meeting


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