5 May 2021: Stagecoach Washington & Chester-le-Street is delighted to have found a new home for its students and teachers at Hermitage Academy, Chester-le-Street after a 12-month-long search.

Principal Melanie Hill, who has owned the school since it started four years ago, has worked tirelessly to find the new venue and is excited for the students to finally get to enjoy the new space as classes return for the Summer Term. The sounds of singing, dancing and acting are filling the rooms once again, as local children start to re-build their creative confidence after a hard lockdown.

Speaking about the new location and the search to finding the new home, Melanie said “I’m buzzing with excitement at Stagecoach Washington & Chester-le-Street’s new venue, and bringing back a strong, creative syllabus that will challenge our talented students, whilst being fun, educational and rewarding for them.

“My fantastic teachers and I have been extremely busy planning our new term, as well as receiving lovely support from Hermitage Academy’s site managers and leadership team who are hugely passionate about the importance of performing arts for children.”

Students and their parents alike are overjoyed by the fantastic news of Stagecoach Washington & Chester-le-Street’s new venue, saying,

“Will had been almost elective mute in lock down – he never stopped talking on Saturday afternoon after Stagecoach!!” – Stagecoach parent

“Being back at Stagecoach has meant that I can see my friends again and I can keep working hard doing something I love” – Stagecoach student, 9

“I’m so thrilled that my daughter is able to start her ‘real’ Stagecoach classes again as she gets so much from them each Saturday. She loves the teaching staff and comes home full of stories of what they have been doing in each of the lessons. This term’s Hamilton theme is an absolute dream for her!”  – Stagecoach parent

Performing arts have been a major part of Melanie’s life since she first moved to the area as a teenager, and joined the renowned local theatre group, Youth Connection. Since then, her impressive CV boasts performances at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Royal National Theatre, regional theatres in London and the South, as well as producing many professional plays and musicals at the famous King’s Head Theatre in London.

Stagecoach is the world’s largest network of performing arts schools, with more than 2000 extra-curricular performing arts schools worldwide. Stagecoach aims to make a difference in its students’ lives by teaching Creative Courage for Life, with many students going on to be professionals and world-renowned actors, singers and dancers. Early Stages classes are available for children aged four to six and Main Stages classes take place for six to 18 year olds every weekend.

For more information about Stagecoach Washington & Chester-le-Street, please visit the website at stagecoach.co.uk/washington or call 07708 587647.