BUDDING Billy Elliotts have a weatherproof building in which to perfect their performing arts following a £10,000 grant.

Lafarge Tarmac, which operates Thrislington Quarry, provided the funding to Enter CIC, in Ferryhill, to replace ten leaking windows in its headquarters.

The community interest company operates from a former Baptist church that was built at the beginning of last century to give miners a place of worship and to run a Sunday school for their children.

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Andrea Flynn, the group’s founder, said: “The funding was imperative for us, because we were teaching with tea towels on window sills and wringing them out into buckets.

“It has had a pivotal effect because it means we can be there for the young people all the time, and now we have a thriving centre for our work in the community.

“On paper it is just money for windows. But it means much more than that.

“It is about what those items enable us to provide for young lives and for our community – so a huge thanks goes from all of us to Lafarge Tarmac.

“To have this lovely building back in use for local children and re-established as a community hub preserves the mining heritage that means so much to this community.”

Jon Merchant, manager of Thrislington Quarry, added: “This is real Billy Elliot country, and Andrea is right to say it is not about where you come from, but the journey you take.

“I am just delighted that by replacing these ten windows through the company’s landfill communities scheme, we have been able to help so many young people.

“It is clear that everyone puts their heart and soul into the project and it is an honour for us to be involved.”

Enter CIC provides free and low-cost performing arts opportunities for children and young people and has helped more than 4,000 youngsters since being set-up three years ago, developing life skills and prospects through drama, dance, music and media production.

For information on getting involved with Enter CIC, call 01740-656549.