ACTOR Alun Armstrong has officially opened a foodbank’s new takeaway, which delivers hot and prepared food to struggling families.

Armstrong, who starred in the crime detective series New Tricks, launched the People’s Takeaway, run by the Peterlee-based East Durham Trust.

Trust chief executive Malcolm Fallow said: “With the continued austerity measures and major cuts to benefits, many local people are struggling to make ends meet.

“The current situation with the school holidays and the growing reliance on free school meals is a poignant example of how desperate some people are.

“We are finding that emergency food is a lifeline for more and more people. For five months we have been providing food from external kitchens and thankful for the support while our kitchen was being refurbished. To date we have delivered over 600 meals.”

The People’s Takeaway has been made possible thanks to the support from Comic Relief and a Crowdfunding Appeal which together brought in over £20,000.

The funding has allowed for the installation of kitchen facilities, the recruitment, and training of a team of volunteers and will pay for running costs such as the purchase of food ingredients.