Call for Shildon to receive railway heritage funding

Map detail of New Shildon in 1857
An 1857 map depicts the Soho Works and the burgeoning New Shildon settlement. (Image courtesy of Gerald Slack.)

Writing in this week’s Shildon & District Town Crier, local author and historian, Gerald Slack is leading calls for investment in Shildon’s railway heritage as part of the Stockton & Darlington Railway’s (S&DR) Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) award.

In his letter to the Crier, Mr Slack questions why Durham County Council (DCC) have not been included in the S&DR project’s press statements.

However, a spokesperson for DCC said the local authority will be a partner in the S&DR project.

Confirming their role, Portfolio Holder for Economic Regeneration, Cllr Carl Marshall said: “It’s great news that the Stockton and Darlington Railway is set to benefit from a Heritage Action Zone.

“We’re very much looking forward to working with our partners on these projects.”

Heritage Action Zones first came into being earlier this year – the nationwide scheme supports local authorities to unlock untapped potential in places that are rich in history and historic fabric to help them thrive, and improve quality of life for communities and businesses.

Mr Slack added: “The main worry is that Shildon will not receive funding commensurate with its importance as the world’s first railway town. It would be reassuring to have that commitment from the project partners.”

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