FUNDING to the tune of £200,000 will allow more people to enjoy the theatre.

Queen’s Hall Arts Centre, in Hexham, is celebrating after being awarded £206,550 from the Arts Council England’s small capital funding programme to deliver its Opening Doors project.

The two-year scheme will create a new studio theatre within the Queen’s Hall and is aimed at improving access to performing, participation and circulation spaces within the Tyne Valley.

The Queen’s Hall’s artistic director, Katy Taylor, said: “The space will provide a flexible performance and workshop space which will allow us to present small scale theatre, children’s performance, music and workshops.

“The funding from Arts Council England will also ensure that all our performance spaces and backstage areas are accessible and welcoming.

“We will be improving the existing changing rooms and reconfiguring the current Green Room to increase its size and convert it to a multi-use space and fully equipped studio with more experimental and updated digital facilities. This will extend our range of performance, visual arts, and learning and engagement activities, and include improved access for audiences and participants with disabilities.

“So that we can achieve this ambitious plan, we will be fund-raising £60,000 over the next two years with the help of local businesses and our loyal customers.”

Andrew Harvey, chairman of the board of trustees at Queen’s Hall, added: “We are delighted at the news that Arts Council England will support the development of our studio space and backstage area with such a valuable capital injection.

“Improvements in accessibility are vital for both audiences and performers.

“This result reflects the commitment of our staff team and is great news for Hexham.”