Shoppers help raise cash for axe-threatened Customs House

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An arts venue left facing the axe after a funding crisis has been given a helping hand.

Cheryl McDonald and her mother Lynne Davis were upset after finding out that the Customs House in South Shields was struggling to make ends meet.

The Mill Dam venue, a platform for a range of artists and also home to various community groups, was thrown a lifeline earlier this year after a benefit night held by North-East comedians including Sarah Millican raised £25,000.

A funding bid from the Arts Council was also successful.

Cheryl and Lynne run Community Corner in Edinburgh Road, Jarrow, a shop selling donated goods to raise cash for good causes in South Tyneside, and they wanted to do something to help.

The pair raised £1,616 from the sale of items both in the shop and online for the venue. Cheryl said: “The Customs House is one of the biggest arts venues in South Tyneside, and when we heard about what was happening to it, we just wanted to do our bit to help.

“All our members got behind what we were doing, helping us to raise our biggest total to date.”

Customs House executive director Ray Spencer said: “We were really touched and honoured that Community Corner chose us as a beneficiary of this fantastic fund.

“Their absolutely fantastic donation will help the Customs House to continue the hard work we do in South Tyneside.”