Parish Council News

Parish Council meetings are held at Toft Hill and Etherley Community Centre

on the 2nd Thursday of each month (except August) at 7.00p.m.

Please go to the Parish Council section for the latest Agenda.

Levelling Up Fund

County Council Statement

.The County Council was awarded £20 million in the first round of the Level Up Fund which will help in delivering a heritage corridor masterplan focussed on the visitor attraction Locomotion in Shildon and the Stockton and Darlington Railway Line.

It will also allow the re-routing of the A68 at Toft Hill, creating a new 1.6-kilometre bypass away from the village centre to help to improve journey times, reduce traffic and improve road safety through the village.

Whorlton Bridge, the UK's oldest road suspension bridge in Teesdale, will also benefit. The bridge has been closed to all users since December 2020, but with funding now in place to support the necessary works, it is planned to reopen in summer 2023. A visitor centre will be developed as part of the works, allowing users to celebrate the bridge's transport heritage.


Latest updates received by the Parish Council from Durham County Council

Re-Routing of the A68 At Toft Hill


  • DCC are in the process of negotiating land access for a number of surveys in order to better inform a route alignment for the development. Durham County Council and their appointed land agents are working in partnership to make progress.

  • DCC will be arranging for a Public Consultation Event for residents in the near future which will take place at Toft Hill and Etherley Community Centre. This will give our community the opportunity to inspect proposed plans for the route and make any comments/representations/views on the proposals.

  • In due course a pre planning consultation will be arranged with the public having the opportunity to make comment

  • Planning submission will only occur after the consultation has taken place.


The link below gives access to the full 'Levelling up Statement' released by Durham County Council in December 2021

www.durham.gov.uk/article/26704/-30m-transformative-programme-for-county-detailed-to-Chancellor-following-successful-Levelling-Up-Fund-bid