BUILDING work is under way on improvements to a band’s practice room which leader’s hope will help secure its future for decades.

An extension to the headquarters of Cockerton Prize Silver Band, in the grounds of Cockerton Band and Musical Institute, in Darlington’s Woodland Road, will give the band more practice and storage space.

A fundraising appeal for the building work fell just short of its target, but the band was able to scale down its plans and press ahead regardless.

The recent snowy weather has slowed progress slightly, although the builders are hard at work to ensure any delays are kept to a minimum.

Meanwhile, the band’s musicians are preparing for the 2013 Brass Band Regional Championships, which will be held at the Dolphin Centre, in Darlington, in March.

Chairman John Steel said fundraising concerts played by the band, in supermarkets across Darlington, raised £4,500, which will ensure its financial stability for the coming year.

The band, which was established in 1870 and has about 40 adults members, is looking to recruit talented young musicians for its academy band.

Prospective young members should already be involved in extra-curricular music lessons at school, although Mr Steel said the band would be able to point complete beginners in the right direction.

Anyone interested is invited to attend the band’s weekly practice sessions, at 6.30pm, on Wednesdays, at the practice room in Woodland Road.