REPAIRS are to be carried out at the Grade II listed Witham arts centre, in Barnard Castle, just six years after a £3.2m restoration project.

Stonework and pointing has eroded, allowing water to penetrate the building fabric.

This has left the internal plasterwork and decoration damaged by dampness within the solid stone walls.

The programme of remedial works will repair the historic effects of this natural process and apply some modern techniques to prevent further deterioration.

It will also safeguard the building against future water ingress.

Ada Burns, vice chair of The Witham Trustees, said: “As custodians of this historic building, the current trustees have an obligation to preserve it as best we can.

“Preservation is not always straight forward, due to old building methods, and having to use appropriate materials that work with the integrity of the building.

“Heritage buildings will always require appropriate ongoing maintenance to safeguard and update them. This is an integral part of the operational management of any building provided for public use and enjoyment.”

The Witham will remain open during the repairs, which should be completed by early September.

The centre underwent a large-scale restoration project six years ago which saw buildings revamped and high-tech facilities installed.

It dates back to 1845 and is named after Henry Witham.