A SECONDARY school held a talent show to celebrate the official opening of its nearly £40,000 newly refurbished theatre.

The Mayor of Test Valley cut the ribbon to Winton Academy's John Morgan Studio Theatre on Friday, 10 November.

Staff, parents and students have worked hard to raise the funds needed to install the seating so that the venue can attract visiting companies as well as becoming a space for the whole community.

Test Valley Borough Council awarded the academy a grant of £19,597.50, which represented 50 per cent of the total cost, from the Test Valley Asset Fund.

Sean Flavell, assistant headteacher and director of visual and performing arts said: “We are extremely grateful to the councillors who supported our bid and to Test Valley Borough Council for the grant awarded.

"The academy has a very busy performance schedule with lots for everyone to see.

"The new seating means that audiences will be able to watch the shows in comfort and the rake will allow them all to see the action.”

The academy is also set to launch an arts hub, which will deliver a programme of arts development for primary teachers.

It will also be launching a musical theatre club for young people from Andover who would not necessarily be able to afford the fees of the usual performing arts schools in the area.

The theatre will also host a programme of visiting performance companies ensuring a varied programme of events designed to compliment the existing offer in the town.

For more information, visit wintoncommunityacademy.org/