TRUSTEES are being sought to help develop proposals for a unique North-East sports arena, catering for able-bodied and disabled users.

Richard Wigham is looking for support in drawing up proposals for a facility on Copeland Lane, Evenwood, County Durham, which would provide access to sports including harness racing - with provision for wheelchair users - indoor cricket suitable for winter use, softball, fencing, archery, and activities for disabled sports people.

Mr Wigham, from Wolsingham, said there are similar facilities in Wales, Scotland and York, but nothing of the same nature in the North-East.

He said: “This is not a one or two-year job, this is more like a five-year project.

“There are just trees on the site at the moment and I’m led to believe they will be pruned soon and tests are being carried out for contamination from the days of coal mining on the site.

“The facility would be for a lot of different sports and suitable for disabled people too.

“There is high unemployment in the area and this would create some jobs.

“A lot of people complain about there being horses and traps on the roads but this would help to get them off the main roads.

“There is nowhere locally for them to train at the moment. They have to go out of the area.”

Mr Wigham has arranged a meeting at the Eden Arms, in West Auckland, on Tuesday, February 25, at 7.30pm, for people interested in helping take the proposals forward.

He said: “We want as many people as possible to attend.

“We are looking for able-bodied and disabled people to work together and become trustees, give input into proposals, and help with applying for grants.

“This would be a charitable trust. We need a chairman, vice chairman, clerk, secretary and treasurer.”

Meanwhile, Mr Wigham is planning to attend Evenwood Parish Council’s meeting on Tuesday to ask councillors to support the bid.

No planning application has been submitted to Durham County Council as yet.

Anyone interested in getting involved with the initiative should call Mr Wigham on 07814-324444 or email: