BRASS bandsmen and women are blowing their trumpets with extra gusto after a funding boost following the opening of a new supermarket.

Cheques for £250 were handed to representatives of both Durham Miners’ Association Brass Band and Hetton Town Trust at the official opening of a new Tesco Extra store in Hetton-le-Hole.

The town was at the centre of the Durham Coalfield in the heyday of the mining industry, with the band drawing many members from Hetton and surrounding communities.

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More than 200 people applied for the 14 positions created with the opening of the new store, at the junction of Park View and Houghton Road, in the centre of the town.

Manager Julie Tempest said all those at the store look forward to playing a role in the community and so the award of the funding to the two worthy local concerns seemed appropriate.

Grateful band treasurer Julie Carmichael said the £250 was a more than welcome boost to assist its annual running costs of £9,000, much of which is spent on the repair and up-keep of instruments.

Kim Downing, town trust facilities development manager, said the funding would help to provide new crockery and table decorations at its cafeteria at the nearby Hetton Centre community complex.