A SEARCH and rescue team's base has been renamed in honour of one its founder members.

The Rescue Centre, in Barnard Castle, is the base of the Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Team.

The centre was completed in 2002 thanks to funding from the National Lottery and an appeal run locally.

A driving force behind the appeal was Chris Scott, a founder member of the rescue team in 1968.

Since 1998, Mr Scott, from Spennymoor, has been the organisation's treasurer.

At the group's recent annual meeting Mr Scott was presented with a 40-year long service award by Mountain Rescue England and Wales and it was agreed the centre should bear his name.

Former team leader Alan Best said: “Chris has made an outstanding contribution to the team. He is the sort of person who works away in the background and who you know you can rely upon to do a good job.

“Chris has produced a computer based data logging system to record our incidents which was adopted by other mountain rescue teams.

“He managed our associate members for many years and with his wife Kathleen has attended the majority of our street collections whatever the weather.”

In other changes, Chris Roberts, from Cotherstone, has stood down after two years as team leader. He will be replaced by Pete Bell, from Darlington.

Mr Roberts has been with the team for 16 years in a variety of roles, including leader of the youth section which he took to work with the Icelandic Search and Rescue.