THE unveiling of a stone sculpture marks the completion of a £73,500 improvement scheme in Coundon.

The upgrade has been carried out at a prominent corner site on the junction of Collingwood Street and Victoria Lane, known locally as Fan Cottage Corner.

Improvements have included the demolition and replacement of a wall, re-paving work, tree planting and the installation of seats and litter bins.

Coundon and Leeholme Community Partnership, with help from Groundwork West Durham, secured £46,000 from the European Regional Development Fund, £25,000 from One NorthEast Rural Development Programme and £2,500 from Durham County Council to carry out the improvements.

Big Brother star Jonny Regan joined local councillors and youngsters at the statue's unveiling on Saturday morning.

Artist Michael Disley was appointed to work with the community and young people from the village to design the sculpture, called The Miners' Dream.

Workshops were held with the artist, young people and Groundwork West Durham, which enabled the youngsters to take part in stone sculpting.

The community worked together to come up with the theme of a cow on a hill - the old Saxon name for Coundon - for the sculpture.