Hartlepool charity Red Dreams closes after police probe into founders

A Hartlepool charity that mentored young performers has closed after more than ten years.

Wednesday, 31st January 2018, 10:11 am
Updated Wednesday, 31st January 2018, 10:16 am
The Red Dreams building in Whitby Street South, Hartlepool,  which has closed.
The Red Dreams building in Whitby Street South, Hartlepool, which has closed.

Red Dreams in Whitby Street South has announced the organisation can no longer continue in its current form.

Managers have cited a police investigation into the founders of the charity, Ian and Dawn McManus, as one of the reasons for the closure.

Managers have cited a police investigation into the founders of Red Dreams as one of the reasons for the closure.

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High running costs of the building and a lack of income have also been blamed.

Mr and Mrs McManus founded Red Dreams as a legacy to their son Kyle, who tragically died aged 16 from a brain haemorrhage.

Its purpose was to help young people build confidence by taking part in creative activities and over the years has mentored and coached many talented young people.

A year ago Mr and Mrs McManus were reportedly ordered to leave Red Dreams by trustees.

Managers have cited a police investigation into the founders of Red Dreams as one of the reasons for the closure.

They have voluntarily spoken to police over allegations of fraud by abuse of position, theft and false accounting.

Mr and Mrs McManus were not arrested and have not been charged. A file has been passed by Cleveland Police to the Crown Prosecution Service and they are awaiting a decision.

Kelly Robson, chairwoman of Red Dreams, said: “It is with deep sadness and regret that as of 7pm on Sunday, January 28, Red Dreams is unable to continue in its current form.

“Due to the ongoing police investigation into the founders of the charity that has taken longer than anticipated, the charity is unable to obtain funding, the rising bills and overheads are crippling, and the charity doesn’t make enough money to be sustained without funding.

“The trustees and parents are working together to potentially relocate to make the charity a real option in the future as we know it is a vital service to Hartlepool and the surrounding areas.”

She urged people to keep an eye on Red Dreams’ Facebook page for updates.

A message on the page said it is working closely with parties, including the Charity Commission, to wind the charity up.

It added that money paid for lessons or services will be refunded.

A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said: “An investigation has taken place and a file passed to the CPS.

“We are awaiting their decision.”

Red Dreams’ premises provided access to rehearsal and training rooms, recording studios and media suite.