A band who had £25,000 worth of music equipment from their van stolen while it was parked up in County Durham have been invited on tour with a North East musician. 

The Mercians, a five-piece band who pride themselves on delivering music to schools across the UK to promote mental health awareness, had parked up in Bishop Auckland on the evening of Sunday, September 17).

But when they arrived back to get the vehicle the next day, at Bondgate North car park in the town, the vehicle had vanished, along with the instruments belonging to the band. 

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The incident happened to the band on their return from Scotland, where they have been playing a week-long run of shows at schools. 

In the aftermath of the theft, the band say they have seen an "outpouring" of support from people sending well-wishes to others willing to donate money to buy new equipment. 

The Northern Echo: The MerciansThe Mercians (Image: THE MERCIANS)

In a fundraiser set up on behalf of the band, more than £7,000 has already been raised. 

In the music scene, a large amount of support has also been seen, with bands and singers sending The Mercians messages - including Reverend and The Makers.

The Northern Echo: Andrew CushinAndrew Cushin (Image: ANDREW CUSHIN)

An outstanding show of support has also been made by North East singer Andrew Cushin, who has invited the band on tour with him to play on one of his shows. 

On the Leicester leg of the tour, The Mercians, who are from Leicester themselves, will be one of two warm-up acts for Andrew Cushin. 

The Northern Echo: The van that was stolen from The MerciansThe van that was stolen from The Mercians (Image: THE MERCIANS)

Announcing the opportunity and their new single online, The Mercians said: "We may have been down, but against all the odds, we most certainly aren’t out.. Very excited to announce that our brand new song 'Better Alone' and it’s music video are coming very very soon.

"And secondly, our very good mate Andrew Cushin has invited us to support him at O2 Academy Leicester in October. 

"We’ll be joined by our other brothers @theclauseuk what more could you want?"