CAMPAIGNERS have welcomed the inclusion of a war memorial on a list of buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest.

The memorial, owned by Belmont Parish Council, was moved from the St Mary Magdalene Church graveyard in Belmont to a newly-created site nearby on High Street, in neighbouring Carrville.

Its relocation concludes a drive launched by the Friends of Belmont War Memorial to raise funds and arrange for it to be re-gilded and cleaned.

Parish council chairman Cllr Dennis Southwell said: “We are naturally delighted by this award, made by the Secretary of State for the Environment.

“Grade II listing has also been confirmed by Durham County Council Planning Section.”

Friends of Belmont War Memorial chairman Walter Meilkle added: “This recognition of the importance of Belmont War Memorial by Historic England, is especially welcomed by our small group of local residents who formed the Friends of Belmont War Memorial some seven years ago.

“The group worked very hard in the first year to have the memorial moved to its present location where it is now in a much more central and prominent position.

“Since the move was completed the residents of the parish have taken the memorial to their hearts and this has created a greater understanding of the sacrifices made by those named on it.”

Backed by Belmont Parish Council, which bought the land for the new site, the project was boosted by a £27,000 donation from the County Durham Environmental Trust (CDENT), plus contributions from local residents, Durham city and county councillors, Belmont Community Association and St Mary Magdalene Church.