A MUSICAL group in east Durham has secured a grant of £3,500 to help people develop their talent.

Seaham Music Academy, which was established in 1992, sees more than 120 musicians descend on Seaview Primary School every Saturday.

Different classrooms are used for a wide range of instrumental practices, including string, woodwind, brass and drums as well as a Ceilidh music group.

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The academy has received the money from the Community Learning Fund managed by the East Durham Trust.

Malcolm Fallow, chief executive of East Durham Trust, said: “We should never underestimate the potential of groups like the Seaham Music Academy.

“Their work has positive outcomes not just in entertainment but in areas such as health improvement, reducing anti-social behaviour, economic regeneration and building community spirit. We are delighted to be able to support their efforts.”

The academy encourages new members of any age and ability to come along. There are classes run for children as young as nursery school age, through to more advanced musicians.

Each week the sessions are concluded with an orchestra practice when the musicians prepare for forthcoming events such as Christmas carol services or concert performances.

Classes cost £5 per session to cover basic overheads with many of the school’s teachers donating their time voluntarily to keep the group going.

For more information about Seaham Music Academy contact Jim Bagley on 07984-959848 after 6pm or email seaham.musicacademy@yahoo.co.uk