Cultural Spring celebrates three years of projects and £1million funding for future

A live show will celebrate the first three years of a popular arts project.

The Cultural Spring is an Arts Council England (ACE) funded project working to increase arts participation in South Tyneside and Sunderland.

The project was for an initial three years, but late last year ACE announced it would receive a further £1million, allowing the initiative to continue for another three years.

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To mark the end of the project’s first phase an evening featuring performances from people and groups who have taken part in the project to date will be hosted at The Customs House,South Shields.

The show, called Our First Three Years, will be hosted by the Mill Dam venue’s executive director Ray Spencer on Saturday, January 28, starting at 7.30pm.

It will feature performances from groups established through the work of the Cultural Spring, or have been supported by the project.

These will include Whitburn Singers, Hylton Ukes, The GUB Club and Compass Acapella.

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There will also be a performance from the Sand Dance Hot Steppers, a group set up after the Cultural Spring’s award-winning dance extravaganza Rush was performed at St Hilda’s Engine Shed, South Shields on Easter Sunday, 2015.

Michael Barrass, project co-ordinator for the Cultural Spring, has organised the performance: “We think it’s a great way to complete our first three years, and to celebrate fantastic talent that we’ve helped to shine.

“Many of the groups performing exist because of the Cultural Spring and most are now working towards being fully sustainable, which is a lovely legacy for us in the wards where we were working.”

Tickets for the live show cost £5 and are available through The Customs House box office on 0191 4541234 or through The Customs House website –