A ONCE closure-threatened theatre group in Darlington has received a dose of festive cheer from a public relations company.

Instead of sending Christmas Cards to its customers and contacts, Recognition PR has made a donation to Darlington Arts Academy, which will enable the group to acquire the rights for a high-profile musical for a summer school performance next year.

In addition, Recognition and Darlington Arts Academy have produced a Christmas music video with the children from the academy performing their version of ‘All I Want For Christmas is You’.

Darlington Arts Academy was forced to close in the summer following cuts to arts funding and reduced donations.

However, its team of volunteers, led by creative director Rebecca McGarvie and a group of parents have helped resurrect the Academy.

Fundraising for the summer school, planned for August, is currently taking place.

While it can no longer operate weekly theatre classes, it aims to run workshops during the school holidays for children aged six to 19.

Earlier this year, the academy staged Broadway musical Hairspray at Hummersknott Academy, with about 100 local children taking part.

The academy will be fundraising throughout the coming months to help fund its summer school and is appealing to other local businesses that may be able to give their support.

Graham Robb, senior partner at Recognition PR, said: “Darlington Arts Academy provides important creative opportunities for young people in the town and we were delighted to support them with our Christmas donation."

Miss McGarvie added: “The donation will allow us to purchase the right to perform a well-known musical, which I am sure will make for a fantastic summer school performance."

Filmed on location in Darlington, the video can be seen on You Tube at youtu.be/CLuRUtMJOKQ To make a donation, call Miss McGarvie, on 01325-520446 or email rebecca@darlingtonartsacademy.co.uk