A PROJECT giving people the chance to sponsor seats in the historic “pitman’s parliament’ can now go ahead.

Planning permission was granted this week for brass tokens to be attached to the seats in the chamber of Durham Miners’ Hall, in Redhills, Durham, which is part of a project to allow people to commemorate individuals and mark their link to the collieries.

The Durham Miners’ Association launched the scheme in 2017 as part of its bid to raise money for a major restoration of the historic building, which is planned to turn it into a cultural centre aimed at celebrating the North-East's heritage.

Durham Miners' Hall

Planning permission was needed to make alterations to the Grade II listed building.

Each seat in the chamber is associated with a particular colliery and is where a representative of the pit would sit during debates in the chamber.

The application was backed by the City of Durham Parish Council, which it said was: “A highly appropriate and discreet method for enabling permanent expressions of solidarity by interested organisations, community groups and individuals.”

Seats can be sponsored for £100.