A RURAL touring arts programme has announced plans to offer online ticket sales.

A rural community touring scheme with a programme of theatre, music, dance and craft events has announced it will provide tickets for its shows online.

Highlights Rural Touring, which offers theatre, music, dance and craft events, works with voluntary promoters in 75 village halls and community venues across rural areas of County Durham, Northumberland and Cumbria.

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A total of 72 performances of 17 different shows are planned, presented in 49 venues across the three counties.

The programme features touring companies from around the UK and abroad.

The Highlights Spring season runs from February to May 2013, and people can now buy tickets online for certain shows meaning they can book in advance and from anywhere if they have access to a computer or smart phone.

Highlights’ co-director Rosie Cross said: “Highlights is delighted to be able to offer our rural audiences this option.

“Our performances may happen in isolated rural venues, but we are proud to allow our valued audience members the choice of different means of booking.

“In these busy times, people use their smart phones and computers for all sorts of purchases – why shouldn’t Highlights shows be there?”

Included in the line-up is song and music from Europe with Edinburgh Festival award-winning performances from Pip Utton and Scotland’s National Poet, Liz Lochhead.

There will be animation shows especially designed for children and theatre about Robin Hood, King Henry VIII and Churchill.

The season ends with ‘Miniature Worlds’ which is a Contemporary Craft Tour inspired by miniature work.

The project is supported by the Rural Development Programme for England, managed by Durham County Council.

For more information, visithighlightsnorth.co.uk