BODIES from across County Durham have launched a new "vision" for the future.

The County Durham Vision 2035 sets out three ambitions to create jobs, help people live longer and to connect communities over the next 15 years.

It was launched by the County Durham Partnership, which includes representatives from Durham County Council, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, Durham Constabulary, Durham University, the voluntary and community sector, and the clinical commissioning groups.

Councillor Simon Henig, leader of Durham County Council and chair of the County Durham Partnership, said: “It has been 10 years since the previous vision, and we are now excited to launch the new 2035 vision which will steer our partnership work for the next 15 years.

“We have listened closely to local communities and partners to develop this vision and the objectives that underpin it, to ensure that it reflect the voices of the people of Durham.

“By 2035, our aim is for County Durham to enjoy a thriving economy, with better employment opportunities for all; the best possible health outcomes; and caring and welcoming communities that give everyone the opportunity to realise their potential.

“This year is our year of culture and as well as celebrating the partnership work that goes on across the county, the vision launch event debated what more can be done and what contribution culture can make to our new vision.”

The launch event featured guest speakers Darren Henley, chief executive of Arts Council England and Helen Marriage, artistic director of Artichoke, the organisation which produces the light festival Lumiere.