A creative project has been given a million reasons to celebrate after it was given a massive cash boost to continue its work for the next three years.
East Durham Creates has been awarded £1million from the Arts Council England to fund activities.
The project was launched to increase the chance for residents to get creative and involved in arts and culture.
More than 22,000 people have been involved in its events so far.
Nikki Locke, who leads the programme, said: “It’s fantastic news for East Durham that Arts Council England is providing the investment for this project to continue. Since 2014 we’ve tested lots of different things and our journey so far has been exciting, insightful, humbling and rewarding.
“We’d like to especially thank local residents who have made this project their own and are undoubtedly the reason why we have further support.
We’d like to especially thank local residents who have made this project their own and are undoubtedly the reason why we have further support.Nikki Locke, head of East Durham Creates
“We can’t wait to see what East Durham will create in the next three years – watch this space.”
Celebrations have included commissions from six world-class musicians, artists and performers who joined forces with people to create work.
Shows have included a performance by a New York-based group who composed a work inspired by the people and landscapes of Seaham and VoiceOver, a project which took place in Horden, linking residents’ homes through an interactive chain of light and sound.
A family focused Pirates of Crimdon Dene event saw around 2,500 people explore the area, with a pirate-themed arts trail, activities and performances.
Steve Clark, manager of Horden Youth and Community Centre, said: “East Durham Creates has not only brought the community together and helped in fostering creativity, most important of all it has promoted people’s wellbeing and mental health.”
Partners East Durham Trust have led the successful Let’s Create programme, awarding 22 commissions to community groups, venues and arts organisations, allowing them to develop and programme creative events.