funding brings theatre to willington

A grant from believe housing has helped to bring a dose of magic to hundreds of young people in the Willington area.

Hundreds of young people piled into ‘Frogwarts’ to see Harry Panto, and his fellow young magicians, wave their wands and fight the dark lord with a spellbinding collection of pop songs, illusions and things that went ‘bump’ across the auditorium.

The spellbinding event was the idea of Empire Electric Palace Theatre, a small charity based in Crook that is working towards obtaining their own premises. The latest performance was the work of Talegate Theatre Productions and transformed Spectrum Leisure Centre in Willington for the event.

Helen Wood, a Trustee of Empire Palace Theatre, said: “It is amazing to have theatre back in the Wear Valley and simply stunning to see so many happy smiling faces. We are indebted to believe housing who have supported this venture and to Spectrum Leisure for an excellent venue.”

believe housing provided a grant of £500 to Empire Electric Palace Theatre to make the event possible. The funding comes from the County Durham-based housing association’s successful community grants programme, which assisted local groups with more than £150,000 last year.

Community Investment Coordinator at believe housing, Joanne Norman, said: “There’s always something magical about live theatre and it’s great to see local youngsters getting the chance to catch the bug early.

“Our community grant programme was designed to benefit a whole range of groups that do great work in the towns and villages of County Durham. This is a great example of how a relatively small amount of money has had a substantial impact.”

More information on believe housing’s grant programme is available here, or by calling the Community Investment Team on 0300 1311 999.