The City of Durham Trust

Who are we?

The City of Durham Trust is a society set up in 1942 by local people who saw the need to conserve and encourage the appreciation of the historic City of Durham and its surroundings.

Our members are people who take a keen interest in what goes on in Durham City. They appreciate the role the Trust plays as a strong independent voice, free from party political agendas, that can put their concerns forward.

This page tells you more about the Trust and how you can become a member.

What do we do?

Most people first hear of the Trust because of the campaigns we run, for example to save Brown's Boathouse, to oppose the growth of large pubs in the City centre, and to get a Green Belt for the City.

Behind this lies a solid body of work: around 1000 planning applications are made to Durham City Council each year and the Trust reviews them all, and makes representations where appropriate. Once or twice a year we will put our views at a Public Inquiry. We also have input into the County Structure Plan and City Local Plan, which set the planning policies in the longer term.

We restored the statue of Neptune in the Market Place and the teapot in Saddler Street. We make annual awards to the architects and clients of the best new or restored buildings. The Trust has placed plaques on buildings of interest, and provided trees for sites such as Stockton Road and Old Durham Gardens.

The Trust keeps its members and the wider public informed by holding public meetings and lectures, by publishing Annual Reports, Bulletins, books, and leaflets about the City, and via this web site (

We co-operate with other City organisations and pressure groups. We have joined other bodies like ourselves by affiliating to the Civic Trust. We also consult with national bodies such as English Heritage.

How do we do it?

The Trust is managed by its Trustees, up to 20 in number, who are elected from the membership by the members. There are no paid employees. The work of running the Trust is carried out by the honorary secretary, the trustees, and other members who are able to give their time and expertise to the Trust.

The Trustees meet monthly in Alington House, North Bailey. Members are welcome to attend these meetings, and may speak with the agreement of the chair. But if members have anything they want to bring to the attention of the Trust, they are encouraged to approach any Trustee, all of whom live in or around the City.

So why not join us?

The effectiveness of the Trust depends on the support and size of its membership. We hope you will want to help the work we are doing by becoming a member. Please fill in the membership form.