The Darlington & Stockton Times' Market Town Revival campaign has been recognised with a national award.

The newspaper has been named Campaigning Weekly Newspaper of the Year in the Newspaper Society Newspaper Sales and Promotions awards for 2000.

The D&S beat off competition from weekly newspapers from all over Britain.

Launched a year ago, the campaign highlighted the plight of market towns in competing with out-of-town shopping centre and the decline of the rural economy.

The campaign received support from all quarters and was singled out for praise by the Prime Minister when he announced an £100m regeneration package for market towns in December last year.

After receiving the award, the newspaper's editor, Mr Malcolm Warne, said: "Our campaign simply highlighted the threat to our market towns and also how critical the well-being of our market towns is to the health of the countryside.

"I am delighted the campaign has been recognised by the industry but even more pleased that government took notice too."