Meet Sunderland’s answer to Britain’s Got Talent

This year's Genfactor finalists

This year's Genfactor finalists

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Sunderland’s answer to Britain’s Got Talent reaches its final next week.

Sixteen of the city’s rising stars will take to the stage to impress the judges in the Genfactor 2016 final at Rainton Meadows Arena on Wednesday, October 26.

The annual talent competition, which is in its eighth year, is run by Sunderland-based housing provider Gentoo Group and is designed to give young people aged between 11 and 18 the opportunity to showcase their talents.

Among those hoping to impress the judges are singers Owen Seafield, Leoni Taylor, Courtney Leightell and Lewis Conlin, who all performed in last year’s Genfactor final.

Singers Jessica Dale, from Castle View School, Anne-Marie Gray who attends St Robert of Newminster School and Tahnee Kelly, from Farringdon School, will also be giving their all on the night, along with singer/pianist Emmaleigh Poulton and musical theatre performer Samuel Scott.

Three talented singer guitarists, Sophie Sweeney, Harry Davidson and Tom Smith also hope to strum their way to success while the Sunderland Dance Academy Can

Can Girls will give a French flavour to the evening.

Other dancers will include UK Dance Championships finalist Anna Greenwell and the SK Dance Juniors troupe, while band, Saturn Highway, will perform a cover of a hit chart song.

One of the judges, John Craggs, Gentoo’s chief executive officer, who’ll joined on the panel by Voice singer Olivia Lawson and The Lake Poets, said: We have so many talented young people in our city and the Genfactor is the perfect opportunity to celebrate and recognise that talent.”