Two performers are enjoying rave reviews after launching their own community theatre company.
Alison Stanley and Tracy Cadman set up Red Diamond NE Community Interest Company (CIC) after help from The Business Factory.
The theatre company provides drama, singing and dance workshops for babies through to elderly residents in care homes.
Alison, from Dudley, said: “Tracy and I met at an amateur dramatic society many years ago and both strongly believe that performing arts should be accessible to everyone.
“We’d discussed the possibility of setting up our own community theatre company for a while and then one day decided to just go for it.”
Alison approached The Business Factory for help and worked alongside social enterprise adviser Toni Clark.
Alison added: “Toni has been a fantastic help in guiding us through the set-up of Red Diamond. She introduced us to our bid writer so that we can access funding effectively, advised on publicity, best practice accounting and so much more.”
And plans are in place to expand having submitted a funding application for a double decker theatre bus.
A summer school for primary children at John Willie Sams Centre, Dudley, began in August and a weekly Academy for adults is beginning this autumn, to be run in Newcastle.
In addition, Red Diamond is developing a performance called Bedsocks and Secrets which aims to highlight the treatment of dementia patients in care homes and encourage understanding of the disease.
Coun Frank Lott, North Tyneside Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for business support, said: “It is very encouraging to hear about enterprises like Red Diamond.
“The founders have not only turned an idea into reality by setting up their own company, but their whole venture is aimed at bolstering community spirit and using their valuable experience to the benefit of local people of all generations.
“The really good news is that they’re not alone – The Business Factory is receiving an increased number of enquiries from individuals wanting to set up social enterprises.
“As such we are committed to helping entrepreneurs with a social purpose ensure their businesses are both profitable and sustainable so that they can contribute positively to the borough’s economy as well as ensuring our communities remain strong.”
For more information on how to start your own business, contact The Business Factory on (0191) 605 3110 email firstname.lastname@example.org