Review launched on the future of the Durham Light Infantry collection, including at the DLI Museum closed in 2015
This week, the new joint board administration discussed the Durham Light Infantry (DLI) collection and archives.
The new cabinet is made up of Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and several independents and was formed following local elections in May.
One of its first actions included a comprehensive review of all options for viewing and storing the DLI collection – which includes over 200,000 historical documents and over 15,000 objects.
The most recent plan was to move the collection to a new history center in the redeveloped Grade II listed Mount Oswald mansion.
However, the joint administration has vowed to consider all options for displaying the collection in the future, including the former DLI Museum building at Aykley Heads which was controversially closed in 2015.
A report on the proposed review was presented to the new Durham County Council cabinet and approved on Wednesday, June 16.
Councilor Elizabeth Scott, Cabinet Member for Economics and Partnerships, said consulting all members of the joint administration on the future of the DLI collection was “an extremely high priority”.
“Under an agreement with the trustees, who own the DLI collection and archives, the county council deals with over 200,000 archival items and over 15,000 archival items,” said she declared.
“Our high standard of care means the collections are nationally accredited.
“The collection and its accessibility are extremely important to the Council and, more importantly, to the residents of County Durham.
“The collection and archives have had a number of different homes during their lifetime, including the DLI Museum at Aykley Heads.
“It is right that the council now undertake a review of the current options and plans for the collection, archives, building and land in which it is located.
“The review will be carried out in consultation with partners and stakeholders as quickly as possible and recommendations will be presented to this board by September.”
The IDD collection is owned by the trustees of the charity Regimental and Chattels of the Former Durham Light Infantry and the Regimental Museum of the Former Durham Light Infantry.
In 1967 the council agreed to look after the collection and built a museum near County Hall at Aykley Heads.
In October 2015, the then-consulting firm agreed to new arrangements for the storage and display of the DLI collection, including the transfer of the collection to the IDD Research and Study Center. IDD at Spennymoor, while the archives have been moved to the County Durham Archives Office.
A program of traveling and permanent exhibitions has been established to encourage people to take an interest in the collection, as well as educational activities and loans to other institutions.
Current plans call for the collection and archives to be brought together at the redeveloped site of the Grade II listed Mount Oswald History Center.
However, all options for displaying exhibits will be reviewed, with a report on the review to be returned to the firm by September 2021 at the latest.
It will include an assessment of the opportunities, costs, risks and implications of any proposal, as well as ensuring that the review takes into account plans for the £ 19.6million history center, currently under construction in Durham. City.