£31,000 boost for South Shields youth theatre group

Young people taking part in Takeover 2018 meet rapper Kay Greyson
Young people taking part in Takeover 2018 meet rapper Kay Greyson

Theatre bosses in South Tyneside ar celebrating a £31,000 boost for a young people project.

The Takeover at The Customs House in South Shields is preparing for its fifth year and the youth arts festival - held during the May half-term holiday, has received the cash from the Scottish Power Foundation.

The Takeover is a week-long arts festival that is produced by, with and for young people to develop and showcase their leadership skills.

It features music performances, theatre shows, visual art exhibitions and workshops.

It is led, planned, marketed, delivered and evaluated by the Takeover Team, a group of 14 to 25-year-olds.

Izzy Finch, learning and participation officer at the theatre, in Mill Dam, South Shields, said: “This is our second year of funding from the Scottish Power Foundation for our annual youth festival and we are absolutely thrilled.

“For many young people there are few clear and visible pathways into the arts as a professional career route. Takeover is one of the only opportunities young people South of the Tyne will encounter to be trusted and empowered to take over arts programming, work alongside professional mentors to deliver arts provision developed by young people for young people.”

The Takeover Team meet every Monday at The Customs House - which this year is also celebrating its 25th anjiversary - between 4.30pm and 6.30pm, to plan the festival with Takeover Team co-ordinator Natasha Haws.

Anyone aged between 11 and 25 and interested in joining the Takeover Team, or would like to find out more, can email Izzy at izzy@customshouse.co.uk.

The Scottish Power Foundation was established in 2013 with the aim of making a significant and lasting contribution to society, enhancing the lives of people living in communities throughout the UK.

Mike Thornton, foundation chairman, said: “Each year it is incredible to see the applications received from projects across the UK that are making life-changing differences to people in their communities.

“We’re so pleased to announce this year’s funding package for 25 projects across the UK, which are all doing incredible work to make a real difference to their communities and the people living in them.”