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  • Durham Council: Bin it Right
    Residents across County Durham are being reminded to ‘Bin it right’ to make sure their recycling can continue to be used to make new products. The six month ‘Bin it right’ campaign, starting this month, will encourage residents to put the right items in the right bin to stop recyclable material being contaminated and spoiled by items that can’t be recycled. Recycling assistants will also be on hand to give advice to households in areas where recycling contamination is most common. The majority of householders place the correct material in the right container and the amount collected for recycling has increased by over 30 per cent since the introduction of alternate weekly collections in 2012. But last year, nearly 10 per cent of the total material collected for recycling was non-recyclable. This included nappies, pet waste and food. Councillor Brian Stephens, Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, Durham County Council said: “It is essential that all items, from a used tin of beans or glass bottle to nappies and pet waste, are put in the right bin or box so recyclable materials are free from contamination and can be turned into other products. “Recyclable items should be washed and squashed where possible and placed loose in the recycling bin without being bagged. Items that can’t be recycled such as food, pet waste and nappies should be bagged and placed in the rubbish bin. “We would  like to thank residents for recycling household waste items and hope to clear up any confusion about what goes where to give a better understanding of which items can and cannot be recycled. Contaminated material not only reduces recycling rates but also costs the authority about £100 a tonne in alternative disposal.” The awareness campaign forms part of an advisory system to improve recycling. Where there are repeated incidents of recycling contamination in household bins, residents will be notified directly by letter and the issue of a bin sticker. Further information on what items go where is available at or call 03000 26 1000.
  • Durham Council: Help to get on the right career path
    A new drop-in session aimed at parents and 16 to 19-year-olds looking for work, college or training opportunities is taking place in Stanley every other Wednesday. Durham County Council’s One Point Service is organising the new sessions which take place between 1.00pm and 3.00pm, fortnightly at the One Point children’s centre in Stanley. One Point personal advisers and family workers will be available to offer advice on applying for jobs, apprenticeships and training. Nick Jobson, personal adviser, said: “We can provide impartial information, advice and guidance on local education, apprenticeships, training and career opportunities as well as assisting with job applications.” Help with CVs, personal statements and advice on job searches will be available as well as information on finances and support available to help young people move forward when it comes to looking for a job. Book a place by calling 03000 266 150 or just drop in.
  • Durham Council: Why not put a bounce into your free time?
    Why not put a bounce into your free time with a new course on how to trampoline? Courses, run by Durham County Council, for 11 to 16-year-olds will begin next week at Teesdale Leisure Centre. Victoria Lee, sport and physical activity project officer said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for young people to get into a new sport.” An eight week course will cost £8 with sessions beginning on Tuesday, 22 April at the centre, on Strathmore Road in Barnard Castle, between 6.15pm and 7.15pm. The council is also looking to offer the same opportunity for the 16 to 25 age range, if enough people show an interest. Anyone interested should contact Victoria on 07584141202 or email her: 11 to 16-year-olds can book a place by calling the leisure centre on 03000 260862/63 or email:  
  • Durham Council: Sessions for dads
    A play session for dads and their little ones is taking place at Middlestone Moor One Point Children’s Centre on Saturday, 3 May. Dads and male carers with children under five, who live in the area, are invited to attend the centre, on Rock Road, to join in the fun between 10.00am and noon.  For more information on the activity telephone Tudhoe Moor Children’s Centre on: 03000 267 488. One Point Children’s Centres are a part of Durham County Council.
  • Durham Council: Festival lines up a selection of award-winning foods
    An annual food festival is set to sizzle with a Northumberland firm’s prize sausages among the array of award-winning produce on offer. The Northumberland Sausage Company, set up by former scientist Dr Claire Watson-Laney and her father, is just one of dozens of established northern food and drink producers signed up for Bishop Auckland Food Festival. Visitors to the popular event will be able to snap up about 30 different sausage varieties, including the company’s Great Taste one-star winning pork, red onion and Tarset Valley marmalade and Northumberland smoked cheese and cracked black pepper sausages. The festival, organised by Durham County Council in partnership with Auckland Castle Trust and Bishop Auckland Town Council, takes place on Saturday, 26 and Sunday, 27 April. Claire said: “We did Bishop Auckland Food Festival for the first time last year and absolutely loved it. It was one of our first events last year and we had two young team members training who were nervous and giggly. “We left them with enough stock to last the weekend and by mid-afternoon they had sold out. The atmosphere was lovely and people were really excited to see so many lovely local food companies all together. “We had completely sold out by mid-morning on the last day and are very excited about returning this year.” Claire, a molecular biologist with a master’s degree and a PHD, set up Northumberland Sausage Company with her dad Lewis, a sheep farmer, after they bought the local butcher’s shop in Wark, Northumberland. The sausages are made using lamb from the family farm and other locally sourced meats. As well as making a mouth-watering variety, which also includes Newcastle Brown Ale, minted mushy pea and a chilli sizzler, the company also runs popular sausage-making workshops at Brockbushes Farm Shop in Corbridge, who will also be at Bishop Auckland Food Festival. The Brockbushes stall will be offering up a range of freshly baked delights including cakes, pastries, pies and scones With more than 160 food and drink stalls and trailers serving up the very best in local produce, traders will be offering everything from fresh meat, fish and vegetables to chutneys, puddings and beer, wines and cider, this year’s festival looks set to be another big draw. There will also cookery demonstrations by Sunday Brunch presenter Simon Rimmer, CBBC star Stefan Gates and a number of other professional chefs as well as a feast of family fun including street entertainment and the festival’s first Kids’ Club.   For more information, visit
  • Durham Council: Equestrian fashion business under starter's orders
    Business Durham, the economic development company for County Durham, is helping a new business get under starter’s orders. Aztec Diamond Equestrian (UK) Ltd, an equestrian fashion wear company, is the idea of 18-year-old Jordan McCabe and is named after her own horse. It is set to be launched on Friday, 2 May, at Sedgefield Racecourse. For Jordan, from Stanley Crook, it is the realisation of a dream since she started showjumping when she was just eight-years-old. She said: “I have always wanted to create high quality fashionable clothing at affordable prices having found over the years that many items were just too expensive. Luckily I have been given the opportunity to create and design my own brand of equestrian clothing and create a range that follows fashion trends and targets every rider, whatever their budget. “I was also very grateful to get huge amounts of support from Business Durham in terms of where to go to for funding and grants and general start-up advice.” Jordan has been mentored by and is working with Stacy Marshall of Creative Textile Solutions, who introduced Jordan to manufacturers in Asia. Her 18-piece range comes under essential, everyday and limited collections and will be modelled at the launch. The launch fashion show will be the first chance to see and buy the fashion wear and guests include representatives from the equestrian trade and international contacts in manufacturing. Proceeds from a charity raffle on the night will go to the British Horse Society. Andrea McGuigan, business development area manager, Business Durham, said: “It has been an absolute delight to help Jordan. Her passion for horses and her sheer determination to succeed has shone through.   I would like to wish her every success for the future." For further information: or tel 01388 764656
  • Durham Council: Astronaut lands in Durham
    The first UK astronaut to walk in space is landing in Durham next month (May 7) to inspire the next generation of scientists. Michael Foale, born in this country and now a dual British-American national, is giving a talk at Durham University in an event organised by Business Durham, the economic development company for County Durham. In 1999 he went on an eight-hour spacewalk to repair the Hubble Space Telescope and four years later was commander of the International Space Station Expedition – a six-month tour of duty. The astrophysicist has been on six space shuttle missions and still holds the record – just over 374 days – for the most time in space by a UK citizen. He left NASA in 2013 after 26 years to work on developing an electric aircraft. Apart from the public lecture, Michael Foale will also being visiting NETPark, the science park at Sedgefield, and talking to schools. His visit to the UK has been arranged by the International Space School Educational Trust and supported by the Institute of Physics. Durham already has an excellent reputation for space science – Durham University’s Centre for Advanced Instrumentation is at NETPark and makes instruments for major telescopes all over the world and for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, due for launch in 2018 as a successor to the Hubble telescope. Simon Goon, managing director, Business Durham, said: “This is a huge coup for County Durham. His record speaks for itself and he will be an inspiration to those looking to further an interest in science and technology. We are honoured that he is taking the time to visit us and it is also an opportunity to extend NETPark’s reputation as the place for innovation”. To book a place to hear Michael Foale at the public lecture at Durham University on Wednesday 7 May (6.30pm) go to
  • Durham Council: Council reassures care home residents
    Residents of council-run care homes in County Durham were today reassured that their needs will be the main priority as changes to residential care take place. Durham County Council’s Cabinet approved recommendations to close Cheveley House, in Belmont; Feryemount, in Ferryhill; Grampian House, in Peterlee; Mendip House, in Chester-le-Street; and Newtown House, in Stanhope; at a meeting in Crook this morning (16 April). Work will now begin to develop a robust and detailed plan for the relocation of residents, with their needs, comfort and safety at the heart of the process. Cllr Lucy Hovvels, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for safer and healthier communities, said: “This was an extremely difficult decision for everyone and I would like to assure people that we have considered all of the feedback we received and all of the options available to us. “There is no denying that people feel very strongly and we fully understand this. In coming to today’s decision, we have had to consider a wide range of factors in addition to the responses to the consultation. “This includes the desire for people to stay in their own homes for longer; a fall in demand for residential care places, particularly in regard to our own care homes; the need for significant investment in the five properties; and the availability of suitable, lower cost accommodation within the independent sector as well as significant financial pressure due to government funding cuts. “We now need to begin the process of planning the closures in a carefully managed way that takes full account of residents’ needs.” A dedicated group of social workers and senior operational staff with extensive experience in supporting residential care moves will work with each resident and their family to draw up a detailed plan for their relocation. This will be based on an individual assessment of need involving the resident and their relatives.
  • Durham Council: Have a say on local issues at forum event
    Chester-le-Street and District Area Action Partnership (AAP) is set to hold its next forum at the end of this month. The forum events occur twice a year and give those living and working in the town and surrounding area the chance to get together to discuss issues important to them and what can be done to address local problems. At the meeting, set to be held at the Parish Centre on Church Chare, there will also be a chance to see some of the work done by the partnership in the past year and the projects it supported. Officers from Durham County Council’s Regeneration and Economic Development service will be on hand to gain feedback on which paths and routes into the town centre members of the public would like to see improved. The meeting will take place on Monday, April 28 from 5.45pm. To attend please let a member of the team know by calling 03000 266142 or emailing Chester-le-Street and District AAP is one of 14 set up by Durham County Council in 2009 to help the authority better engage with residents and allow them to have a say on grass roots decisions.  
  • Durham Council: Tap into local issues
    Teesdale Action Partnership (TAP) will hold its annual general meeting and board meeting in May. At the meeting, set to be held at Mickleton Village Hall, the partnership will celebrate local achievements as well as showcasing projects it has supported and developed over the past year. A new chair will be confirmed and new board members will be welcomed onto the partnership. Those attending will be asked for an input on how the partnership, one of 14 set up by Durham County Council in 2009, can focus on its priorities for the year ahead. These being:   Children and Young People   Transport, Traffic Management and Environment  Job Prospects and Enterprise. Residents and those working in the Teesdale area will also be given the opportunity to raise local issues they would like to be discussed.  These need to be put in writing and forwarded to the TAP team by Thursday, May 8. The meeting will take place from 6.00pm on Wednesday, May 14. To contact the team call 03000 260 817 or email:

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    World travelers Sarah Murphy and Stefaan duPont of Miles & Miles got their hands on some fine leather bags from Lotuff and took them to Marfa, Texas, to shoot the brand’s spring lookbook and video. “When we started brainstorming places to shoot, we really wanted our destination to be somewhere that would communicate the most impressive feature of Lotuff Leather’s products—the craft,” says DuPont. “Marfa’s harsh desert landscape and the realities of living out of a truck and adventuring every day prove that these bags aren’t precious. They’re built to last a lifetime.” The video, seen exclusively here, is loaded with sunbaked desert vibes, complemented perfectly by the dusty grit of a spaghetti Western and some good old-fashioned rugged Americana. The collection, all made in the USA, features styles for both men and women, including a couple that are available now exclusively at Barneys New York, just in time for adventure season.

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    It’s denim week at, and between trend reports, editors’ picks, and more, we are covering all the bases for denim lovers everywhere. Phillip Lim, it seems, is one of them. Today, the designer is launching a capsule denim collection. And he’s a longtime fan of the material. “I have always used denim in the collections—it is really intrinsic to the way we dress. Everyone can relate to denim, so I wanted to refashion it for our lifestyle,” the designer told me when asked about the lineup. Lim’s denim capsule collection features twelve styles for a modern wardrobe, like classic trenchcoats, his famous motorcycle jacket, a chic blazer, and tailored pants. “I wanted the cut to be considered, the finish and the details to be thought-out, but most important, to make it appropriate. I like the crispness of the raw denim and how in the right use it can almost take on a whole new purpose. There is something incredibly rich and classic about the deep blue hue of raw denim, too—it’s as classic as black or navy.” The collection is meant to blend in with your everyday wardrobe, and the dark shades Lim loves so much are just what make these pieces look so polished. It’s hard to pick a favorite!

    3.1 Phillip Lim denim capsule collection tops, $195; trenchcoats, from $895. For more information, visit

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  • Opening Ceremony Gets a New Investor

    KENZO Pre-Fall 2014 PresentationEveryone’s go-to shop for graphic sweatshirts, quirky snapbacks, and killer accessories is getting a major financial boost. WWD reports that Berkshire Partners has recently taken a minority stake in Opening Ceremony. The Boston-based equity firm plans to enhance e-commerce, further develop ready-to-wear, add more locations, and introduce new stores to exclusively sell the Opening Ceremony label. “Since starting Opening Ceremony, Humberto [Leon] and I have worked together to create a company with a strong point of view that offers our customers a fresh shopping experience in our stores, collections, and website,” designer Carol Lim said. “Our growth over the years has been organic, but also strategic, and the relationship with Berkshire provides Opening Ceremony with broad resources to grow to the next level.”

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