Little Mix's Jade Thirlwall and comedian Chris Ramsey 'delighted' after Customs House secures £125,000 grant
It’s been a tough time for the much-loved theatre, based at Mill Dam in South Shields, following months of closure and cancellations as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
But now the charity has confirmed that it has secured funding from the second round of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help it reopen.
Little Mix star Jade Thirlwall was among the South Shields stars to express her delight at the grant, having grown up with the theatre.
Jade, who is a Custom House Fellow, said: “The Customs House has a special place in my heart so I’m really delighted this grant will help secure its future.
“It’s so important for South Tyneside and it’s wonderful to see our arts centres being able to work towards opening again.”
South Shields comedian Chris Ramsey added: “I’m delighted to see The Customs House has received government support to help them re-open after the pandemic.
"We all need theatre in our life. I look forward to performing live to full houses again soon.”
Once the Road to Recovery dates were announced stand-up comedian, script-writer and one of The Customs House Academy’s first fellows Jason Cook was first in line to put shows on sale.
The popular comedy club sees The Customs House sell out twice a month, every month.
Jason saidl: “This will help boost the return of participation, not only by those who like a giggle but to those who want to get out and get involve in the arts, sharing with others in our fantastic venues, including my personal favourite The Customs House.”
The grant will also help to cover the cost of repairs to the Grade II listed building – including new roof and boiler.
The funding is from a £400 million pot which was held back last year to ensure the Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in need as the public health picture changed.
The funding has been awarded by Arts Council England, as well as Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.