Arts project’s celebratory live show as it looks forward to next phase

Whitburn Singers joined with The GUB Club to perform a series of numbers in the show.
Whitburn Singers joined with The GUB Club to perform a series of numbers in the show.
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A popular arts project marked the beginning of a new phase with a celebration of its successes so far.

The Cultural Spring held a live show at The Customs House, in Mill Dam, South Shields.

Customs House executive director Ray Spencer, who hosted Our First Three Years.

Customs House executive director Ray Spencer, who hosted Our First Three Years.

It featured performances from many of those who have taken part in the project since it started three years ago.

‘Our First Three Years’ was hosted by Customs House executive director Ray Spencer, who said the Cultural Spring had changed people’s lives and opened up opportunities for thousands of people.

Groups established through the project, or who had been supported by it, performed, including Whitburn Singers, Hylton Ukes, The GUB Club, Compass Acapella and Sand Dance Hot Steppers.

A series of videos created after some of the events held by the Cultural Spring were also shown to the audience.

We were delighted by the standard of performance and the audience reaction to what was a great night

Michael Barrass

An exhibition of work produced over the last three years was on show, including works from the project’s main commissions, including The Great North Passion, Street Art Heroes and Bring the Happy.

It was recently announced that, at the conclusion of the three-year period, the initiative would continue for another three years thanks to a further £1million funding boost from Arts Council England (ACE).

That means Cultural Spring can continue in its bid to increase participation in the arts and culture in Sunderland and South Tyneside.

Michael Barrass, project co-ordinator for the Cultural Spring, organised the performance.

Whitburn Singers perform in the celebratory show.

Whitburn Singers perform in the celebratory show.

He said: “We were delighted by the standard of performance and the audience reaction to what was a great night – a fitting way to celebrate the end of our first three years and to mark the beginning of the next phase of the Cultural Spring.”

Compass Acapella performed several popular hits.

Compass Acapella performed several popular hits.