PLANS for an axe-throwing centre in County Durham have been given the go-ahead.

In recent years, axe throwing centres have gained popularity with sites springing up in Durham, as well as Sheffield, Newcastle and York.

Earlier this year, plans were lodged for a new business in Aycliffe Business Park, Newton Aycliffe.

The ‘Valhalla North Axe Throwing Centre’ is the brainchild of partners Carl Howe and Kathryn Brown and friend and shareholder Sam Nicholson.

The trio came up with the centre name in honour of Mr Howe’s role as the ‘Viking king’ at historic outdoor performance event Kynren, an epic show of England which is staged in Bishop Auckland.

Miss Brown also works as a volunteer at Kynren – an outdoor performance, which takes audiences through 2,000 years of history through the eyes of Arthur, the son of a mining family.

Mr Howe told The Northern Echo: “We just decided to go for it – I think we are one of the first axe-throwing centres in County Durham and want it to be a place people can come and have fun.

"We're hoping to get a mobile pub there so after people have took part in the axe-throwing they can have a nice pint."

The planning application to Durham County Council outlined a raft of measures to keep customers safe and reduce noise.

Following consultation,  the plans were given the green light by the authority’s planning authority last week.

In action, the centre will be able to hold up to 12 people and will become the base of a ‘members only’ club gearing up for national competitions. Each session for customers will last 1.5 hours with the opportunity to practice techniques, take part in competitions and perform trick shots.

Owners also aim to offer a matted training area for stage and screen combat– with interest from local groups hiring the area on a weekly basis.

A statement from the company adds: “Axe throwing itself is a great activity for stress relief and in turn increasing mental health.

“With the development of the axe throwing club, there will be a space for people who might not usually partake in much sport to become active and part of a team.”

Business owners plan to open the centre later this year. Opening hours will be 6pm to 10pm, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and 10am to 6pm on weekends. For more information visit @valhallanorth on Facebook or visit valhallanorth.com