A GROUP devoted to promoting a town has marked its first birthday by hosting a day of fundraising.

The Bishop Auckland Town Ambassadors visited a shopping centre to celebrate their accomplishments over the last 12 months.

The group of ten passionate volunteers work to support local businesses, and promote opportunities available in and around Bishop Auckland, whilst finding ways to increase tourism in the area.

Chris Percival operational lead at the organisation said: "It has been an exceptional year for us – it really couldn't have gone any better.

"In the last year we have seen and supported two new businesses in the town and in the future our next step is to get our website up and running by the end of the year."

The group was inspired by an idea from Durham County Councillor Joy Allen.

She had a vision for a group in the town to promote independent businesses.

She said: "I think the group has gone on in leaps and bounds from the first day it was set up.

"They've starting creating videos online to promote businesses which are being shared far and wide and putting the spotlight on Bishop Auckland for the right reasons.

"Every town should have a town ambassador group because the right people are doing it for the right reasons and I think the businesses are extremely grateful for everything they do."

The town ambassadors have recently added two new members to the group and continue to grow with support from the community.

Members held a fundraising day at Newgate Shopping Centre to mark the one year anniversary and spread awareness of their work.

The day saw the group raise money with a tombola and silent auction.

Among those in attendance was Bishop Auckland Mayor, Councillor David Flemin, he said: "I think the group are going from strength to strength.

"I remember things in the town when I was a young man, they aren't here now so its nice to see the ambassadors bringing back businesses and tourism and I wish them all the best for the future."

The group is now seeking business sponsors to help them grow and develop.

For more information or to become a volunteer or sponsor message @TownAmbassadors on Facebook.