Lift-off for Apollo

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A GROUP at the helm of a drive to put a controversial landmark on the cultural map have a host of reasons to be proud.

The Apollo Pasmore Pavilion is on the up after a number of recent developments at the opinion-dividing Peterlee sculpture.

The pond at the site, at Sunny Blunts, has been cleared after months of problems with blockages from algae.

Apollo Pavilion Community Association (APCA) chairman David Taylor-Gooby, along with volunteers from Castle Eden Dene, cleared the pond by digging mud out of it to increase the flow of water.

The group of about a dozen people spent a full day at work at the landmark.

It comes after the pavilion picked up its fifth architectural accolade when it was one of just four North-East projects to receive a Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) award for excellence in architecture, as reported by the Mail earlier this month.

The award was given after Durham County Council and Castle Eden-based Burns Architects carried out a £450,000 restoration programme of the 1960s sculpture.

The achievements don’t stop there, with APCA members on tenterhooks waiting to hear whether the pavilion has gained listed building status.

To add to developments, supporters are gearing up for a cultural extravaganza, called One Small Step One More Step, which takes place on Sunday, July 10.

Mr Taylor-Gooby said: “I’m very pleased that we received the award.

“We are of course very pleased that the architects have received some recognition and I hope the public will come along on July 10.”

He said members of the group are eagerly awaiting the decision from the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS).

Mr Taylor-Gooby added: “We should know the decision within a month.

“If successful, we will feel that our efforts have been vindicated in trying to show Peterlee this unique artistic attraction.

“We feel people in Peterlee should be proud of the pavilion and it’s not some elite artistic project, it’s something for everyone.”

Mr Taylor-Gooby thanked the dene volunteers for their help.

The cultural event in July will form part of the Brass: Durham International Festival.

It will include a collective of arts professionals and the community working on a project called Bridging the Gap.

It will feature music by composer Peter Coyte using the voices and sounds of the surrounding estate, artist Sam Goodlet turning the Pavilion into a giant playground and contemporary dance company Dora Frankel Dance.

Peterlee’s GT Group brass band and Italian street band Magicaboola will also be performing.

The structure was created in 1960 by abstract designer Victor Pasmore.