YOUNG musicians are being given a platform at an upcoming Dales festival thanks to a funding boost.

The Swaledale Festival has received £3,269 from the Leyburn branch of the Co-op following votes by customers.

The money is being dedicated to the festival’s Young Artists Platform will also see the Dales-based Janet Seymour’s School of Theatre Dance give a show at St Oswald’s Church, Askrigg on May 30.

The first young musicians appearing are cellist Kristiana Ignatjeva with pianist Sten Heinoja, on May 29 in St Andrew’s Church, Aysgarth.

Two days later the Heather Ryall Trio, an unusual line-up of clarinet, soprano and piano, will play at St Michael and All Angels Church, Spennithorne.

In the second week the focus moves to Swaledale with classical guitarist Alexandra Whittingham in the Congregational Church, Reeth on June 4 and The Meraki Duo of flute and guitar in St Mary’s Church, Muker on June 8.

Some artists will also go into local schools as part of an education project which often introduces children to different musical styles for the first time.

Funding from the Leyburn Co-op shoppers and other charitable sources helps to pay for these education programmes which are always provided free to the schools.

Swaledale Festival chairman Sue Miller said the organisers were grateful for the Co-op shoppers’ donations.

She added: “This will help to fund our Young Artists Platform and means that we can continue to support young artists at a crucial time in their career and bring high quality arts and educational projects to our rural communities in the area.”

The festival runs from May 26 to June 9 and with concerts taking place in venues across the dales.