TEENAGERS supporting a project which aims to keep excluded pupils in education are raising money to repair its run-down school.

The Creative Campus scheme, run by Theatre Cap-a-Pie, takes youngsters from across the North-East and helps them earn GNVQ qualifications through the arts.

It is based at the Phoenix arts centre, in Harelaw, near Stanley, County Durham, a former primary school.

But the Victorian building is falling apart and staff have no budget for repairs.

Julie Dixon, from Theatre Cap-a-Pie, said: "The hall is in a dire state. There is a hole in the roof and the door frame is about to fall apart.

"Anything the kids can raise will be a great help."

As part of their course work, the dozen pupils on the scheme must organise an event so they decided to use it as a fundraising opportunity.

They are holding a family fun night next week with a country and western theme, featuring singers and drama performances, including Christmas carols from the Fan Club children's arts group, which also uses the building.

The DIY store, in nearby Leadgate, has donated paint and local youngsters have signed up to help with the revamp.

Miss Dixon said: "All we need is a bit of money and we can transform the place.

"It will be of benefit not just to the kids themselves, but means the whole community will be able to use the building."

The Creative Campus fun night takes place next Wednesday between 5.30pm and 8.30pm, at the Phoenix arts centre. Admission is 50p.

The group is still looking for a bingo machine and bingo caller for the event.

Anyone who can help should contact Theatre Cap-a-Pie on (01207) 501177.