A proposal to redevelop the former Durham Light Infantry (DLI) Museum and art gallery into an exhibition centre, gallery, café and restaurant has been revealed.

Durham County Council cabinet members approved proposals to redevelop the building, at Aykley Heads, for cultural use earlier this year.

And while The Story at Mount Oswald will be the permanent home for the DLI collection, and is expected to open in 2023, the site at Aykley Heads will include space for a DLI Gallery.

A pre-planning consultation on the proposed redevelopment of the former museum and art gallery building has begun, with residents urged to complete an online survey after viewing the plans.

Read more: DLI Museum Durham - Calls for City of Culture cash to be used to reopen site

The Northern Echo: A proposed landscape plan of the new siteA proposed landscape plan of the new site (Image: Durham County Council)The plans will be on display at Clayport Library in Durham City after the consultation event, with more opportunities to leave comments from Wednesday 2 November to 12.00pm on Friday 4 November.

The redevelopment isn't without controversy however, as local Labour leaders branded the proposals of Conservative MPs "shameful, wasteful and regressive", saying they merely cater for high earners with a "silver-service restaurant".

But the Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Independent joint administration hit back saying the Labour opposition's claims were insulting and "simply wrong".

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: "This is a fantastic opportunity to redevelop a historic building and create an ambitious cultural  venue which would boost our tourism offer, in turn growing our visitor economy and supporting local pride.

“Providing significant dedicated space for the DLI Collection is key to the future success of the venue.

"I'd encourage everyone interested to feed back to our online consultation or visit our information event to find out more."

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