A MUSIC venue has unveiled a bold new look by dedicated staff and volunteers in time for a festival celebrating up-and-coming artists.

The Forum Music Centre, in Darlington, received a fresh coat of paint with the help from volunteers from local businesses together with the staff of the venue.

Local business staff members who volunteered their time included Trish Brown, from Darlington Building Society, Julie Sugden, from Julie’s Beauty and Alex and Chris from Absolutely Clean. Working alongside The Forum team, they helped give the venue a makeover.

The Forum’s Chief Executive Allison McKay said: “Everyone who works at the Forum has worked long hours to get the make-over finished on time. As a team we created the concept and new look, and we’re very happy with the result.

“This is the start of a new identity for The Forum, and it’s the first of many improvements that visitors will notice now we’ve been certified as a community benefit society.

“We’re very grateful to Glenwood Paints and to Supreme Upholstery for their generosity in helping with materials and work, and we can’t wait for people to see our jazzy new look.”

The redesign comes ahead of the venue’s annual Grassroots Music Festival, which features 15 promising local acts, spread across two stages on Saturday, August 31.

The event, which is organised by volunteers Lance Nixon and Hayley McKay with support from the Forum, not only gives developing Darlington artists a platform to showcase their music, but all income generated from ticket sales are to be split amongst the performers.

The line-up includes David Neil, Crabtree, Hayley McKay, Ramona Rose, Pulverise, Deaf Forever, Moodbay, Neon Waves, and more.

Acts will be split between an electric stage and an acoustic stage, both located at The Forum, on Borough Road, in Darlington. Advance tickets cost £10, or £5 for under 16s, and are available by calling 01325 363 135, or visiting www.theforumonline.co.uk.

Allison added: “We’re delighted to welcome so many brilliant acts and urge people to come along and support these artists. Celebrating all that is wonderful about live music and local talent is at the heart of The Forum’s mission.”