ARTS organisations in the Tyne Valley have received a share of a Government cash boost to support their creativity and community work.

Hexham's Queen's Hall has been in lockdown since closure in March, with continued uncertainty over a reopening date, but has been rewarded £147,563 from the Government's Culture Recovery Fund to help secure its future.

"I'm delighted for Hexham and the Queen's Hall, but also for the staff here," said artistic director and chief executive Katy Taylor. "It’s a credit to the work people have done and the confidence the arts council has in organisations and communities."

The venue has more than 40 volunteers and is home to youth theatre and dance groups who Katy described as the heart of the business.

"This funding will make us Covid-19 secure for when we reopen and we will be able to put money back into our cash reserves which make us financially secure for the future."

Christmas at the Queen's Hall has been saved, too, and Katy said there are plans to work with theatres in Alnwick and Berwick for performances to be beamed around the community.

The Mortal Fools theatre, drama and creative learning charity said it has developed new creative ways for young people to engage with its work during the lockdown with an emphasis on supporting people's mental health and wellbeing.

It received £140,000 from the culture fund, which artistic director and chief executive Kiz Crosbie said has helped it avoid mothballing and instead to pivot and innovate.

Kiz explained: "We have ambitious plans to build new programmes of work that will benefit both the communities we work with in the North-East, together with extending our reach to a new national audience.”

Hexham Book Festival, which moved online earlier this year, received a £60,000 grant.