Lottery cash funds South Shields school theatre project

The Customs House
The Customs House

Just over £21,000 of National Lottery funding has been secured for a project about the history of theatres in South Tyneside.

This project comes as The Customs House, in Mill Dam, South Shields, celebrates its 25 th anniversary in 2019.

The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded the cash to the learning and participation team at The Customs House to work with three South Tyneside schools - Seaview Primary, South Shields; Dunn Street Primary, Jarrow, and Harton Primary, South Shields.

Year 2 teacher Amy Emerson, from Harton Primary School, said: “Harton Primary is a very ambitious school that sets high standards.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to engage our pupils with high quality heritage and arts projects.

“We are especially excited for the children to see archive material first-hand and delighted their work will be shared with our community. “Thanks to The Customs House for asking us to be partners and all the National Lottery players.”

Children from each school will complete a heritage walk through the town, learn more about archives, research an aspect of theatre history and then create their own heritage themed animations.

They will be working with learning officer Elizabeth Kane, from The Customs House, animator Sheryl Jenkins, Catrin Galt at The Word and taking inspiration from the research of writer and local historian, Janis Blower.

Elizabeth said: “Thanks to National Lottery players, this heritage project will mean the history of theatres in South Shields will be better understood by children, their families and schools across South Tyneside.”

The project will finish with a sharing event in July at The Customs House, where the schools will be invited to watch all three animations and find out more about the history of theatres.

The children’s animations will then be made public for everyone to learn more about theatres alongside a learning resource which will include newly digitised theatre archive material from The Word and Janis Blower’s audio commentary.