A pop choir is among eleven community groups to benefit from a £6,500 arts and culture grant.
Fausto Pop Choir, which is based in Fausto Coffee in Roker, has been awarded £1,000 by The Cultural Spring initiative.
Choir organiser Laura Brewis explained the new grant will help the group become a constituted organisation.
She said: “The pop choir has been amazingly successful and we regularly get more than 50 singers turning up for a weekly session – when we started the group we were aiming for 15. So it’s going really well, and we want to take it to the next stage - for the choir to become a Community Interest Company (CIC).
“People pay voluntary contributions every week, but the grant gives us a more solid base and enables us to plan for a more sustainable future.
“It means we can take professional advice to set up the CIC and then look to expand – we’ve had a lot of interest from other areas of the city asking for us to help them set up similar choirs to the Fausto Pop Choir.”
The choir is led by Jennie Brewis, of the Cornshed Sisters, and meets every Monday between 6pm and 7.30pm. The group sings mainly pop songs and recently performed in public for the first time – entertaining Christmas shoppers on Park Lane, Sunderland, as part of Sunderland BID’s Community Spirit initiative.
Other Sunderland recipients of Cultural Spring’s Your Art grant include: Art of Ukes from Washington East (£400); Bojangles Ukes from Fulwell (£250); Creative Mind from Southwick (£400); Dovecote Meadow Choir from Pallion (£400); Friends of Backhouse and Barley Mow Parks (£600) and Fulwell Community Choir (£475)
Proposals for the grant can be sent to YourArt@theculturalspring.org.uk