Celebrations are taking place across Newton Aycliffe today, marking 75 years since it was created.
Aycliffe was founded on this day in 1947, under the New Towns Act 1946, when then Minister for Town & Country Planning, Lewis Silkin, signed the designation order.
To mark the occasion, a special song has been written and recorded to celebrate the town’s past, present and future, with culture and community arts a key aspect of the county’s bid to be named UK City of Culture 2025.
Organised by Durham County Council in partnership with Greenfield Arts, the We Are All Together project includes members of the adult choir Harmony and students from Greenfield Community College, alongside north east musician Martin Longstaff.
Also known as The Lake Poets, Martin’s song Shipyards has been played over 30 million times on worldwide streaming platforms.
Martin said: “It has been fun to learn about the history and identity of a place close to home, which has played an important role in shaping our region.
“In particular, it has been a pleasure to work with people of different ages on a song about unity and aspirations for the future.”
Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “We are delighted to support our communities in coming together in this way to celebrate our shared heritage and express pride in the places we live, as the residents of Newton Aycliffe have done with this song.
“County Durham has a wealth of cultural heritage and community diversity and we are determined to create even more opportunities for communities across the county.
“This commitment is reflected in our bid for UK City of Culture 2025, with success providing more funding and investment, which will enable our ambitions to become a reality.”
To find out more about the project and listen to the song, visit: www.durham.gov.uk/article/24329/Community-arts-projects-and-commissions.