Page last updated at 14:51 GMT, Sunday, 12 July 2009 15:51 UK

Revamp for moon mission pavilion

The Apollo Pavilion
The Apollo Pavilion was built in the late 1960s

A County Durham landmark has been restored to its former glory after a £400,000 revamp.

The Apollo Pavilion in Peterlee has undergone a six-month programme of work to reinstate the structure's original features and the surrounding park area.

The pavilion was created by abstract artist Victor Pasmore and built in the late 1960s. It was named in honour of the first manned moon mission in 1969.

An official unveiling of the pavilion took place on Sunday afternoon.

Despite becoming a target for vandals in recent years, the structure is now recognised as an internationally significant public artwork.

The restoration scheme included the replacement of a staircase, giving access to the upper level, and the full restoration of the structure's feature lighting and two original murals.

Tourist destination

John Pasmore, son of Victor, who unveiled a commemorative plaque, said: "I am delighted the pavilion has been restored to its original state and once again reflects my father's vision.

"A lot of time and effort has gone into this project and on behalf of my family and my father I would like to thank all those who have worked hard to highlight his work."

Eunice Huntington, Durham County Council's cabinet member for healthier communities, said: "The refurbishment of the pavilion provides a real boost to the regeneration of this part of Peterlee and will enhance its role as a tourist destination."

The restoration project, which started in January, received £336,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £65,000 from the former District of Easington Council, now Durham County Council.

Victor Pasmore, who died in 1988, produced experimental housing plans for Peterlee in the early 1960s and became involved in the design of the pavilion after the original architect withdrew.

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